People consume 500 billion single-use plastic water bottles each year and only 30% are recycled. To remedy this, Bently Foundation Awarded Social and Environmental Entrepreneurs (SEE) with a grant for $100,000 to help introduce Lonely Whale’s newest advocacy campaign. This follows the viral success of its #StopSucking PSAs and social media outreach that have helped bring the global plastic crisis to the forefront of public awareness. Question How You Hydrate highlights not only the environmental cost of single-use bottles, but also the health impacts of plastic on people and the direct financial cost to consumers. Lonely Whale creates witty, fun content that engages people, encourages them to change their behavior for the better, and to ask the same of those around them. In addition to social media outreach, Lonely Whale partners with corporate leaders, city officials and influencers to demonstrate what’s possible, including hydration pop-ups, plastic free pro sports games, lunch and learns at corporate offices, etc. Further, to drive global impact, Lonely Whale develops open-source toolkits for other organizations to replicate their success in other markets.
In its first year, the campaign has: gained participation from 45 likeminded nonprofits; partnered with Alaska Airlines; catalyzed decisions by Pepsi and Coke to switch from plastic to aluminum; been seen in 50+ countries; had 402,000 PSA & 6.9 million GIPHY views; earned support from 15 legislators; seen promotion from forty unaffiliated influencers, and; garnered nearly 265 million earned media impressions.
Lonely Whale's Museum of Plastic in New York was launched by the 73rd UN President, Maria Fernanda Espinosa. Open for only one week, this pop up hosted 9,000 visitors and was seen by millions of people via generated media. Their follow-up Museum of Plastic at art Basel Miami garnered an additional 21 million social media impressions worldwide.
Images courtesy of Lonely Whale Foundation