Habits of Waste, a Los Angeles-based environmental nonprofit, is working to save the planet via the big screen.
The group is gaining momentum for its “Lights, Camera, Plastic?” campaign, just in time for Plastic Free July, in its mission to significantly reduce the amount of single-use plastic shown in TV and film, thereby ending the normalization of single-use plastics, trillions of which are discarded per year. Recently, Hollywood figures, including writer, director and producer Chris Weitz, have signed onto the campaign, which also secured its first pledge from a production: Chris McGowan’s L.A. Bound.
“The ‘Lights, Camera, Plastic?’ campaign that habitsofwaste.org has created allows all of us in the entertainment industry to put our best foot forward and reduce harmful single-use plastics on screen,” Weitz, who co-wrote About a Boy and Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, said in a statement. “By doing this, we are protecting our planet and giving reusables a better chance to be adopted throughout society.”
Habits of Waste reports that 1 million plastic bottles are discarded per minute, 500 million plastic straws are discarded per day, and 40 billion pieces of plastic cutlery are discarded per year. Media often reinforces socially acceptable behavior, and the nonprofit hopes to follow the trend of the public decline in cigarette smoking after it was reduced from TV and film depictions.
The campaign was inspired by Sony’s commitment to go plastic-free by 2025, part of its “Road to Zero” initiative to have zero environmental footprint by 2050. Habits of Waste has also engaged the industry through requests to the DGA, WGA, PGA, SAG and Art Directors Guild to cut single-use plastics and has created a watermark for scripts stating “reusables only on screen,” as well as posters for the set and a series of internal communications for crews.
“Our goal is to denormalize single-use plastic throughout society, and we can achieve this goal by significantly limiting the amount of single-use plastics we see on screen,” says Habits of Waste founder Sheila Morovati. “We must shift the societal mindset that accepts these harmful single-use plastics, and that starts by productions switching to reusables on screen instead of single-use, disposable plastics.”
Author Credit: Kirsten Chuba