An eye-catching awareness campaign to educate the public on the perils of plastic trash in our oceans has just set sail, captained by the Chile-based creative agency BERLÍN SCL for the organization Fundación Meri in partnership with the global nonprofit Plastic Oceans.
The campaign uses arresting imagery of artfully displayed vintage trash with the appearance of pollution that has washed ashore. From a distance, the photos (by Gabriel Schkolnick) are oddly beautiful, featuring pops of bold color in the form of things like bits of turquoise twine, metallic, red 7Up bottle labels, and scraps of green netting, all carefully arranged to form shapes with heightened depth and textured detail. Viewers are drawn in by the peculiar aesthetic, only to realize what’s on display after closer inspection.
The featured trash has retro packaging, which gets to the heart of the campaign’s message of the dangerous longevity of plastic pollution. Crumpled receipts woven within the trash piles present the thesis of the campaign: “Discontinued around the world, still available in the ocean.” So while Gen Z has never stepped foot inside a Blockbuster, a plastic bag from the movie rental chain lives on in the briny depths of the pacific.
An educational stat is presented on the receipt below this tagline, conveying that “plastic can take up to 500 years to biodegrade.” Fundación Meri’s website gets included as well, where the public is encouraged to visit, learn more, and take action.