Save the Mermaids
Raising awareness of ocean plastic
This 2018 campaign, commissioned by Brecon Carreg visited sporting events across south Wales to draw attention to the types of plastic causing pollution in seas and on beaches.
As sponsors of a series of running events in south Wales, Brecon Carreg approached us to deliver a campaign to help visitors understand how plastic waste ends up in the sea, how it affects sea life, and how they can take action on this issue.
We wanted visitors to take home three key messages:
- Recycling is not a solution to plastic waste – we need to use and throw away less.
- A lot of plastic waste is ‘invisible’ to us – once we know it is there then we can find a solution.
- While there are some simple lower waste options available to us as consumers, we also need to put pressure on companies and governments to tackle the problem.
To encourage people to come into our tent and take part in the activities, we created a photobooth where people could choose from a treasure chest of accessories made from plastic waste, and have their picture taken as mermaids. To create the mermaid tails we were worked with a local artist who created them from a huge range of beach plastic – plastic gloves, tampon applicators, dental flossers, and much more. The tails provided a perfect conversation starter with both children and adults: what can you see, and how do you think it ended up on a beach?
Visitors could access their pictures online after the event, encouraging them to share their photos and continue the conversation online.
As well as the photo booth we created display panels and a magnetic ‘hidden plastic’ fishing game, where children could go fishing for plastic-free alternatives to common products such as tea bags and cotton buds. The whole tent was decorated with plastic waste sea creatures, seaweed, and fishing netting crafted during community art sessions.
Thanks to the eye catching mermaid tails and friendly volunteers, the Save the Mermaids tent was popular, and the response to the topic of plastic waste highly positive. We noted a high level of awareness of the problem, but a widespread sense of frustration that businesses and decision makers were slow to take meaningful action. We had some great conversations around the actions people can take to push for change, from use of social media or letter writing, to lobbying MPs or returning plastic packaging to the shop.
Having attended ten sporting events the mermaids have now found their forever homes with a community group in Ynysybwl who will use them in their environmental work with schools.
If you’re interested in talking to us about running an event or campaign then please use the form below to get in touch!