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Greenpeace Wants To Remind You That Plastic Doesn't Just Disappear

by Rudy Sanchez on 02/09/2022 | 2 Minute Read

Vintage products like cars, furniture, clothing, and appliances have a chic appeal. 

Even new products will take advantage of retro aesthetics with branding influenced by the past. One type of vintage item few people seek out, however, is plastic garbage. And yet, we don't have much choice—packaging from literally decades ago can return to our shore from the ocean after storms, offering a reminder of plastic’s perniciousness and persistence.

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Environmental advocacy organization Greenpeace recently commissioned an advertising campaign to remind the public that plastic never disappears with a call to eliminate single-use plastic called Plastic is Back!

Editorial photograph
Editorial photograph

Working with creative agency Ogilvy, the organization created a satirical vintage shop featuring collected pieces of plastic detritus. The vintage pieces of plastic, which include empty bottles of household goods, snacks, and personal care items, are in surprisingly good condition, considering some are initially from the 1950s. They get presented as items for purchase on Greenpeace Netherland’s webpage, but they are not for sale; instead, it’s a call to action and an opportunity to donate in support.

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The ads themselves feature a cheery, throwback soundtrack with bright graphics and a voice-over proclaiming the product back. Eventually, it adopts a solemn tone and clarifies that it’s only the plastic packaging that returned, finally cutting to the beach where they discovered the garbage.

Surely we can leave more fabulous vintage stuff than plastic packaging for the future, right? Right?

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