'The Plastic Bag Store' Aims To Warn Us About Plastic With Puppets And Satirical Packaging

by Rudy Sanchez on 11/04/2020 | 2 Minute Read

Amid the bright advertisements and crowds of Times Square, a seemingly out-of-place "store" that's a part-puppet show, part-art installation, and all cautionary tale about the long-term perils of consumerism has just opened. Using wry wit, The Plastic Bag Store recreates a small shop, stocked with seemingly everyday items like cereal boxes and produce. 

Editorial photograph

Upon closer inspection, however, that isn’t a box of Cap’n Crunchit's a satirical take called Caps N Such, with a cheery seagull on the cover scooping up spoonfuls of plastic bottle caps from a cereal bowl. Is that aggressive green of Mountain Dew that burns our eyes? Nope, it's Plastic Dew.

Editorial photograph
Editorial photograph

In fact, all of the items “for sale” are actually made out of plastic garbage, creating a humourous yet compelling museum of fossil-fuel love.

Editorial photograph

Written and directed by Robin Frohardt, who also did puppet design, the installation intended to present an interactive exhibit with a live puppet performance back in March. Now, however, the plastic bag store’s inventory is hands-off, and they have filmed the show. Despite the months-long delay and the slight changes, the New York Times called the show “an emphatic work of activism that is also a wistful work of art.”

Editorial photograph
Editorial photograph

A puppet show warning us about the long-term consequences of our addiction to plastic might seem out of place in one of the most ostentatious displays of consumerism. That said, 2020 is already so upside-down that maybe it makes the most sense for The Plastic Bag Store to be in Times Square with its inventive branding and playfully bold packaging imitations.

Timed tickets are free, and the show/installation runs through November 7th.

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