According to the earthday.org, Sri Lanka is placed as the 5th largest plastic polluter in the world among countries such as China, Indonesia, the Philippines, and Vietnam. We waste more than 5 Million kg of plastic, per day, despite not being one of the world’s largest consumers of plastic.
For many people in Sri Lanka, we’re just happy to litter wherever we are and with no concern about the environment or potential impacts to wildlife. You only need to walk on a beach or see the aftermath of a party or other public gathering in Sri Lanka to understand the scope of the problem.
A beach in Puttalam
An elephant is ill after eating plastic waste. Many die each year as a result of consuming plastic.
Plastic waste is also dumped into rivers and other waterways and ultimately ends up in the sea, causing further damage.
One of the most visible victims of plastic pollution are sea turtles. Plastic bags and other items tend to appear like jellyfish in the water, one of the turtle’s major food sources. Littered beaches are also interfering with the nesting and breeding activities of sea turtles and result in huge numbers of baby turtles dying as a result.
What a Sri Lankan Giant is Doing
Sri Lankan garments manufacturer, MAS has teamed up with Sri Lanka Cricket, the Sri Lanka Navy and Eco Spindles to create the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 jerseys for the Sri Lankan cricket team from recycled plastic bottles. You can read more about this initiative here.
They decided to use sea turtle motifs on the jerseys in order to raise awareness and spread the word about the global plastic pollution crisis. To create further awareness and reach out to people, MAS also wanted to create a video that could be shared on social media that would be fun to watch and also spread the message. Loops conceptualized and created the video that subsequently went viral on social media.
Say Hello to Olly
We decided to make Olly a sea turtle because sea turtles are one of the most visibly affected species by ocean plastic pollution.
It isn’t just sea turtles that are affected. Marine life across the board is affected by plastics and much of it ends up in the food chain, ultimately affecting humans. In Sri Lanka, vast areas of coral reefs have been destroyed by plastics and waste litters the shoreline, the surface of the water and the seabed.
When coming up with the creative idea for Olly and his tale, we wanted it to be hard-hitting but at the same time heartwarming. This led us to the idea of using the sea turtle character, “Olly”, to speak directly to the audience and put his case to them.
Through vibrant animation and colourful original poetry, Olly and His Tale are appealing directly to audiences young and old and is playing a crucial role in creating awareness about Sri Lanka’s ocean plastic pollution problem and inspiring people to change their ways. The video also addresses the fact that, even though none of us are individually to blame for the crisis, collectively we are responsible and we can all act as individuals to create a collective positive change.
The video has generated plenty of attention on MAS’s Facebook page with almost 2,500 reactions, 40 comments and 900+ shares at the time of this writing. This video is part of MAS’s ongoing efforts to address Sri Lanka’s plastic pollution problem and to transform itself into a zero-waste manufacturer and we at Loops are proud to be a part of driving positive change for society.