If you’ve logged into Netflix over the past month, chances are you’ve spotted Seaspiracy, a newly launched documentary that has been making waves with viewers. Directed by British filmmaker Ali Tabrizi, the documentary puts delicate ocean resources under the microscope.
Seaspiracy will be of particular interest to brands and packaging producers due to its findings, the presentation of its information and subsequent reaction from the viewing public.
The team behind the documentary originally sets out with the intention of uncovering the extent of plastic and microplastic in the ocean, a topic that has heavily discussed in media. Focussing on the ‘Great Pacific Garbage Patch’, a location in the Pacific Ocean where plastic detritus gathers in gyres, naturally occurring whirlpools.
Seaspiracy takes a very interesting twist early on – Tabrizi and his team uncover that plastic straws actually account for just 0.03% of ocean pollution, despite often being the focus of vilification. Following this, the documentary team digs further into protection of ocean resources and finds that overfishing is a far bigger threat to our seas.
This highlights a growing challenge to modern commerce – misinformation when it comes to sustainability. Thanks in part to years of ‘greenwashing’, the umbrella term of ‘sustainability’ has lost its meaning to consumers, it’s now too vague to tell them anything about a company’s eco-friendly credentials.
A topic we have spoken on before at ecoveritas is the need for brands to make sustainability more specific, more measurable and better communicated. Consumers are more switched on and proactive than ever before, actively seeking more information and becoming more comfortable with technical terms.
The next important step for packaging business, and indeed the wider manufacturing sector, is turning talk into action and data into results. Seaspiracy, which initially sought to uncover the pollution problem in the oceans, serves to underline the importance of data-driven sustainability initiatives in business, backed up by a concerted industry effort to sort fact from fiction.