(VIDEO) Bill Nye and Coca-Cola team up to promote recycling and the circular economy
As science educator Bill Nye always says, "It's not magic, it's science!" And now he's helping to show the magic – and the science – behind recycling.
The Coca-Cola Company has teamed up with Bill Nye to unveil an animated, stop-motion short film that illustrates the holistic recycling process. The film breaks down the ins and outs of plastic recycling for viewers to demystify the process, with the ultimate goal of inspiring action.
"As we know, we need to reuse plastic," says Bill Nye. "That's why I'm partnering with The Coca-Cola Company to show the science behind the process of recycling and how we can continue to address the global plastic waste crisis, together."
Produced for The Coca-Cola Company by Mackinnon & Saunders, the animators and puppeteers behind Fantastic Mr. Fox, Corpse Bride, and more, the film features an animated – and recycled – version of Bill Nye who explains the end-to-end recycling process. As Bill Nye narrates the process in his engaging style, the content takes viewers on the circular journey of a plastic bottle, starting from the time it's placed in a recycling bin to its coming back on the shelf as a 100 percent recycled bottle (excluding cap and label).
While roughly 59 percent of Americans have access to curbside recycling, 27 percent of plastic bottles are currently recycled in the U.S. The Coca-Cola Company wants to help change that.
One of the company's goals as part of its "World Without Waste" sustainable packaging initiative is to collect and recycle a bottle or can for every one it sells by 2030. The company is also committed to making 100 percent of its packaging recyclable by 2025 and using at least 50 percent recycled material in its packaging by 2030. This new film highlights that recycling is critical to "closing the loop" – using and reusing the materials in plastic bottles again and again.
"We recognize our responsibility to help address the world's plastic waste crisis and to help create a closed-loop economy, but we can't do it alone," says Christine Yeager, director of sustainability at the Coca-Cola Company North America. "And who better than Bill Nye to help inspire everyone to understand, think, feel, and behave differently about recycling. Still, there's much more that needs to be done – which is why we're also advocating for a well-designed collection policy, funding infrastructure, and creating greater economic demand for recycled content. But step one is collecting and recycling our bottles."
Creatively, the approach to the film was not just about visualizing this process, but also reflected the use of recycled materials throughout. Beyond the recycled puppet of Bill Nye, packaging materials from Coca-Cola packaging, including plastic bottles, labels, and cardboard were incorporated into every aspect of the short. Trees were made by reusing Sprite labels and conveyor belts designed from recyclable cardboard, creating a film that embodies recycling, design, and function.