Millions of tons of plastic land in the world's oceans every year. At present, plastic outweighs plankton in an alarming ratio. Humankind has progressed through the Stone Age, the Bronze Age and the Iron Age, only to land in an era where society is increasingly defined by the pollutants we produce: The Plastic Age.

On April 9, Parley founder Cyrill Gutsch spoke at the London premier screening of the new i-D documentary film, The Plastic Age. Directed by Jake Sumner, the film exposes the harsh reality of our plastic addiction and examines the ongoing Parley for the Oceans collaboration with material innovator Bionic Yarn, creative visionary Pharrell Williams and the dutch jeans brand G-Star RAW. It portrays Parley’s initiatives to reduce the use of disposable virgin plastic, retrieve ocean plastic from the high seas and shorelines, make Ocean Plastic a desirable material for the fashion industry, and also to work on developing a replacement for traditional plastic. Cyrill described the role of Parley and its extended network of collaborators, and asked the audience to be part of the solution:

“We humans are at war with nature. Parley is the space where truce is being negotiated. And solutions are being created. Plastic as a material is a design failure. It is the responsibility of the creative industries to solve it by reinventing this material, by designing a next generation of eco-smart products and by creating a new mindset. It is the role of the brands to innovate their production methods, business practices and to provide products that allow their clients to make everyday environmental purchase decisions. And the environmentalists watch over these efforts, to make sure the new inventions and strategies make sense for our oceans. But it only works if it makes economic sense, and if everyone starts to do some little things differently. Every day.” 

Unlike materials that oxidize or biodegrade over time, plastic sticks around for centuries. Once it reaches the oceans, it entraps and entangles wildlife, litters the world’s beaches and accumulates into giant, swirling garbage-patch gyres. Over time, it breaks down into microscopic pieces that ultimately work their way up the food chain and into marine species that mistake it for food, which we then mistake for food. In effect, we are ultimately contaminating our own dinner plates in saying yes to that plastic bag. 

Our ability to turn this colossal and mounting problem into industry opportunity is contingent upon how well we come together and generate diverse solutions. Featuring key Parley partners like Captain Paul Watson of Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, Pharrell Williams, Tim Coombs and Tyson Toussant, Shubhankar Ray and many more, The Plastic Age sheds light on the power of collaborative initiatives to bring about positive change.

We all have a hand to play in defining this era of mankind. Don’t miss your chance to be a part of the solution. 

Watch The Plastic Age now:



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