If we personified a turtle struggling with plastic in its environment, would that be easier to watch than a real turtle struggling with plastic stuck in its throat? After all a human being can simply take the plastic bag off of themselves. Maybe a human turtle could even make us laugh and at the same time sympathize.
I’ve had a lot of laughs producing this short film (or public service announcement) and I am excited to share it! It’s silly while still making a point about the harm single-use plastic bags can cause.
My hats off to Dan Jacobson, Legislative Director of Environment California, for suggesting we try a humorous approach. I loved the idea and ran with it!
When Dan and I initially sat down for a brainstorming session about a public service announcement, to help in the final push to ban single-use plastic bags throughout the state of California, I had all of the traditional, disturbing images in my mind:
Turtles mistake plastic bags for jellyfish getting them caught in their throats, often suffocating.
Pelicans and other birds dive into the ocean thinking a plastic bag is prey.
There is no shortage of alarming images and video if you google around. They’re so important to see and understand but I liked Dan’s idea of a lighter approach.
As I noodled ideas I wondered, if we personified a turtle struggling with plastic in its environment, would that be easier to watch? After all, we know that a person can simply take a plastic bag off of themselves. Maybe a human turtle could make us laugh and at the same time sympathize.
Really, we should empathize. There are countless ways that we as humans are in fact “stuck” with our plastic pollution. Some are obvious like clogged rivers and littered beaches and hiking trails, but others are more insidious. Similar to the comedian eating his plastic dinner like an unsuspecting turtle, we find ourselves as a society not really understanding much of what we eat, or that it will make us sick. I order fish for dinner with some trepidation.
Here’s where I could write a lot about PCB’s in every woman’s breast milk and about the food chain; how what the fish eat, we eat because fat soluble toxins are amplified up that food chain; and on and on I could go. But I just made a comedy so I guess I’ll keep this blog light. Let me just say that the comedian’s behavior as a turtle is, in many ways, a metaphor for our own.
Statewide Plastic Bag-Ban for California
In several weeks, the California Legislature will vote on a statewide ban of single-use plastic bags. Already, 7 counties (including Los Angeles) and many other cities have banned the insidious “creature.”