Stunt debrief

As you may have read, on Tuesday morning a few downtown statues in DT Vancouver were terrorized by a giant plastic six-pack ring. The story goes…

I was contacted by a firm called Rethink Communications to see if I would be interested in getting involved in a guerilla stunt to raise awareness about plastic pollution and its deadly impacts on marine life. I passed the exposure to the Plastic Pollution Coalition but was stoked for the stunt. A little civil disobedience is good for the soul.

Now before you ask, yes, the ring was made from plastic. The company had already produced the ring by the time they called me (and trust me that was one if my first questions too). After some deliberation, we, being me and the PPC, agreed that the plastic was a shame, but the stunt was worthwhile:

  • We knew we could use the plastic ring in future stunts long into the future…plastic is forever right? Owning the ring after would ensure that its unfortunate production was worth it.
  • If the ring’s plastic makeup made people angry, that could actually lead to more discussion, and hopefully more rethinking of plastic use.
  • Disposable, single use plastics are really what we are fighting, and because of how we plan to use it, it does not qualify for this status.

So we woke up early and set up on the first victim. This statue has a number of creatures plus a placard that says:

Human pursuits and activities polluting the oceans. A mirror of ourselves.

We got the boot within 30 minutes but a few people managed to snap shots from their cars and grab a few plastic refusal cards. The best moment at this location was the protest that ensued when we had to de-robe the statue. People wanted it up there. That is encouraging.

We moved to ensnare some dolphins as they played in their metallic waves. We were ousted within an hour. The building manager was so upset that they would not let us talk to her. I don’t mean to be callous, but I just didn’t see the big deal.

The whale’s fin in front of the aquarium was next. A very appropriate symbol given the number of whales affected by plastic pollution these days. When that grey whale graced False Creek (right downtown) with its presence this week, I worried about it. I wondered how many Safeway bags it was greeted by.

Last, to note that plastic pollution also affects humans, the swimmer, or “mermaid”, in Stanley Park got tangled. This was a great location!

We had to move too many times to allow for media to find us, but the story did get picked up in a few places plus in the social media scene, of course (thanks for all the posts and re-tweets @ #PlasticIsForever). I was reading the comments in the Province (business section!) and noted the mixed reviews. A lot of support, plus my fave protest-the-protest quote about greasy hippies needing real jobs. Hehe. Good one buddy!

What did you think of our stunt?

You can only really reach a limited number in one day, so the real intention of this stunt was to produce a vid that will surf the waves of the net in perpetuity and hopefully entangle and choke a few disposable behaviours.

No marine life, mermaids, swimmers, hippies, or landlords were harmed during this stunt. And those giant beers tasted great.