‘Lights, Camera, Plastic?’ | Swapping Single-Use Plastic For Reusables On The Silver Screen

Jul 15, 2022by Olivia - F&F

Unfortunately, single-use plastics are more than just a guest appearance on our favourite movies and tv shows — they’re a recurring character. That’s why a new campaign called ‘Lights, Camera, Plastic?’ is looking to ditch on-screen single-use plastic in favour of reusable items!

Habits Of Waste Lights Camera PlasticHabits Of Waste Lights Camera Plastic

Image: Lights, Camera, Plastic? / Habits of Waste

Lights, Camera, Plastic? New Campaign Tackles On-Screen Plastic

If you’re bingeing a show on Netflix, you’re probably not going to notice when a character takes a sip of water from a single-use plastic bottle, or starts eating from a plastic container. But, the reality is that the recurring appearance of single-use plastics play a larger role in our behaviour than we realise! 

Seeing our favourite characters grab takeaway coffees or purchase groceries in plastic bags, may impact consumer behaviours and social norms. Seeing it, normalises a throwaway culture, and subconsciously, we tend to mimic the behaviour of our favourite characters.

This is why Californian-based non-profit, Habits of Waste, created the Lights, Camera, Plastic? campaign. It aims to normalise reusables and phase out single-use plastic.

Marry Me Universal PicturesMarry Me Universal Pictures

Image: Universal Pictures / YouTube

‘Marry Me’ Director & Cast Partnered With Habits Of Waste 

Have you seen Marry Me? This adorable romcom — featuring Hollywood favourites, Owen Wilson and Jennifer Lopez — follows the story of Latin superstar, Kat Valdez, and her decision to spontaneously marry an audience member during a live show. But, this movie has made headlines for a different reason: it doesn’t feature any single-use plastic, whatsoever! 

This deliberate decision to forgo on-screen single-use plastics was made by director, Kat Coiro, in a partnership with Habits of Waste’s Lights, Camera, Plastic? campaign. 

“The one thing I do have control of is what goes on the screen. If plastic is not a story point, which it really never is, why do we need to put it on the screen?” Corio said during an Instagram livestream before the movie’s release.

Stainless Steel Reusabe Lunch BoxStainless Steel Reusabe Lunch Box

Image: Ever Eco

'Marry Me’ Features Reusable Water Bottles & Lunch Boxes

Director of ‘Marry Me’, Kat Coiro, said that directors don’t have much say in waste management practices off-screen. They do, however, have control over what makes it on-screen. This is why ‘Marry Me’ features S’well stainless steel water bottles and shows Owen Wilson’s character, Charlie Gilbert, eating his lunch out of a stainless steel lunchbox and packing his daughter’s lunch in a reusable lunch box. 

These seemingly unimportant choices actually help to build the character’s personality and values. “It says a lot about the character, that he's someone who takes the time to prepare his food, and he brings it with him, and he kind of lives this sustainable life,” she explained to Green Matters“No film or TV show I’ve done is totally plastic-free. But I try, and I do try to incorporate it into everything I do,” Coiro said.

Lights Camera Plastic Ted LassoLights Camera Plastic Ted Lasso

Image: Ted Lasso / Habits of Waste

Important Link Found Between Motion Pictures & Human Behaviour

The trend seems to be catching on in Hollywood. Emmy-nominated series, Ted Lasso, also chose to ditch on-screen single-use plastics in favour of reusables! So, will these adaptations help people adopt sustainable habits off-screen?

It’s interesting to consider the parallels between the silver screen and society, and how they change over time. “Social scientists agree that there are profoundly important relationships between motion pictures and human behaviour,” said the author of ‘Influence of the Movies on Attitudes and Behavior,’ Franklin Fearing. 

For example, films showing people smoking to be cool, left audiences with that impression. Now, smoking is much less prevalent. The same concept can be done with reusables.

Have you ever thought about single-use plastics in movies and TV shows? The Lights, Camera, Plastic? campaign is aiming to normalise reusable items on-screen, as opposed to their single-use counterparts. Showcasing these sustainable practices to potentially millions of people on the silver screen may have a big impact on people’s behaviour! 

We love hearing about campaigns that tackle single-use plastic! If you do too, check out our Eco News category and the blogs below for more examples.

World Leaders Agree To Legally Binding UN Global Plastic Treaty

Indonesian Activists Create Museum Made From Plastic Waste

‘Loop’ Is Bringing Zero-Waste Shopping To Japan

More Articles