The startling discovery that plastic waste contaminates our blood and not only the planet is at the heart of a dramatic new European print and digital campaign called Plastic Blood, launched for World Health Day today.
Created by leading ad agency Babel for the oceans preservation charity Surfrider Foundation Europe, the campaign is a response to fresh research revealing that tiny plastic particles have been discovered in human blood for the first time.
The study published in Environment International shows that microplastics and nanoplastics – minute fragments not visible to the naked eye – can travel around the body and may lodge in organs.
Though the impact on health is not yet known, plastic carries and releases toxic chemicals including endocrine disruptors.
The digital OOH campaign execution is a clever visual trick where what appears at first to be floating blood cells under a microscope come into focus to reveal they are actually red plastic bottle tops.
The Surfrider Europe campaign headline – Plastic Also Flows Through Our Veins – carries the now proven news that plastic is polluting our bodies as much as the oceans.
To that end, the charity’s clear and urgent public appeal is: “Protect yourself, say no to plastic.”
From today, Plastic Blood will be displayed on ultra HD LCD wall-mounted advertising screens and digital billboards in select Paris Métro and RER stations, and in other outdoor locations thanks to Mediatransports and JCDecaux.
The DOOH, print and static billboard campaign is supported on social networks FaceBook, Twitter and Instagram.
“We already knew that plastic pollution was a big issue but knowing today that it also pollutes our blood or organs is major”, said Jean-Laurent Py, Creative Director, Babel.
“With Surfrider we wanted to address this in an impactful way, making the viewer “feel” the news.
“This is how we thought about this trompe l’oeil optical illusion, to reveal that what we thought is in our veins isn’t just our blood anymore”.
Gaëlle Haut, EU Affairs Project Manager Surfrider Europe, said: “Besides being a major source of pollution in our oceans, plastic is also directly polluting our body.
“With this Plastic Blood campaign, Surfrider Europe wants to raise awareness on the dangers awaiting us if we do not stop the invasion of plastic in our daily lives.”
“We might not know yet the long-term effects, nevertheless, we are sure that microscopic particles are flowing in our veins,” Haut added.
“Therefore it is essential to apply the precautionary principle and must limit our exposure to plastic to reduce its impacts on human health.”