Tara LaSalla talks to Conscious Shift Magazine today about her new project called Mission Plastic and how big businesses have been putting the responsibility of plastic waste back on the consumer since the 1970’s.
We currently live in an era where time is no longer a luxury in taking care of our planet. The latest scientific research is telling us that if we don’t act on climate change right now in big ways, our future doesn’t look so bright. As a society, it is time for us to open our eyes and consciously shift to become better stewards for our planet. Part of this is understanding how we have been conned by big business to mass consume and be ultimately responsible for the waste stream it creates.
An example of this is when a non-profit called Keep America Beautiful began in 1953. It was started by bottlers and packaging businessmen that wanted to avoid government regulation of their industry and to not be held responsible for the litter problem. Phillip Morris, Coca-Cola, PepsiCo and several other large-scale companies were behind creating the organization. In 1971, they partnered with the Ad Council to create public service announcements (PSA) about how it is the responsibility of consumers to put litter in the proper place. This first PSA was of the “crying Indian.” He was sad because people were throwing trash into the environment. It was a powerful and brilliant marketing campaign as it still resonates with people today.
The PSA was set in motion because the bottling companies were getting ready to ditch the glass bottling recycling schemes to move over to a more profitable plastic packaging. New and large amounts of waste were about to be created and the bottling companies no longer wanted to deal with glass recycling. This industry is also responsible for the big push to establish large scale recycling in the U.S.
In response to our mass plastic pollution problem adversely affecting our oceans, Tara has created an actionable project that addresses this issue. The project is called Mission Plastic: Are you Ready for the Switch? This campaign is aimed at stopping the source of the plastics going into the ocean. The sources are businesses that package products in plastic.
Mission Plastic is a grassroots effort where our tribe of people will contact businesses to switch over from plastic packaging to an alternative. This campaign is not about complaining to a business about plastic, but rather providing them with a solution for the switch. We’ve already identified companies that specialize in alternative packaging types to make it easy for businesses that are ready to lead the charge in plastic reduction.