Studio Birthplace has released a quirky and captivating new project in collaboration with Greenpeace UK. Wasteminster is an animated film depicting what would happen if the plastic waste the UK exports each day was instead dumped on Downing Street. In it, 1.8 million kilograms of plastic bottles, bags and takeaway containers pour from the skies, engulfing entire buildings as mannequin versions of Boris Johnson and Michael Gove pontificate about the issue.
According to the animators, the campaign was intended to raise awareness of the plastic pollution crisis that many first-world countries are creating overseas. The UK alone exported 688,000 tonnes of plastic packaging waste in 2020, most often to developing countries like Turkey and Malaysia. “It is the height of injustice that countries and communities with less capacity and resources to deal with plastic pollution are being targeted as escape valves for the throwaway plastic generated by the first world,” reads the project statement.
The resulting visuals are devastating, but not without humour. “We believe that comedy can be a powerful tool to help tell some of the saddest stories in our world,” adds the team. “We hope that this film helps to make critical big data about humanity’s impact on our planet more relatable, and that it lifts the veil of a reality thus far unseen.”