Coca-Cola teams up with Bill Nye to demystify recycling in Mackinnon & Saunders Spot
As science educator Bill Nye always says, “It’s not magic, it’s science!” And now he’s revealing the “magical” secrets of the science of recycling in a new stop-motion short, created in partnership with The Coca-Cola Company. The spot is part of Coca-Cola’s World Without Waste sustainable packaging initiatives.
The film illustrates the holistic recycling process, breaking down the ins and outs of plastic recycling for viewers to demystify the process, with the ultimate goal of inspiring action. “As we know, we have to reuse plastic,” Nye said. “That’s why I’m partnering with The Coca-Cola Company to show the science behind the recycling process and how we can continue to tackle the global plastic waste crisis together.”
Brought to life award-winning animators, puppeteers and layout artists from North West UK studio Mackinnon & Saunders (Fantastic Mr. Fox, Corpse Bride), the film features an animated – and recycled – version of Nye, who explains the recycling process from start to finish. As told by Nye in his dynamic style, the short film takes viewers on the circular journey of a plastic bottle, from the moment it is placed in a recycling bin until it returns to the shelf in the form of a 100% recycled bottle (excluding cap and label) .
Creatively, the film’s approach was not just to visualize this process, but also reflected the use of recycled materials throughout – Coca-Cola packaging, including plastic bottles, labels and cardboard, were incorporated into all aspects of the short.
Produced and shot in Cheshire, England, the film features a 10-inch-tall Bill Nye puppet made from recycled Coca-Cola bottles, with a range of 10 different mouth shapes to aid in lip-syncing. Six “factory minions” made for the film were also constructed from recycled materials, each measuring approximately four inches tall. The trees were made by reusing Sprite labels and conveyor belts crafted from recyclable cardboard, creating a film that epitomizes recycling, design and function.
Mackinnon & Saudners also created bespoke miniature drink bottles in two distinct scales, to account for the difference in size between Bill Nye puppets and factory minions. The smallest bottle, printed in clear resin, is only 40mm tall (about 1 ½”). Each second of film consists of 25 individual frames, and the entire process, from setting construction to final shooting , took about 10 weeks (six pre-production, three shooting and one week post-production).
While approximately 59% of Americans have access to selective recycling, according to the Recycling Partnership’s 2020 study, only 27% of plastic bottles are currently recycled in the United States (according to NAPCOR).
One of The Coca-Cola Company’s “World Without Waste” goals is to collect and recycle one bottle or can for every product sold by 2030. The company is also committed to returning 100% of its packaging recyclable by 2025 and to use at least 50% recycled materials in its packaging by 2030. This new film confirms the message that recycling is essential to “closing the loop” – using and reusing again and again the materials contained in plastic bottles.
“We recognize our responsibility to help solve the global plastic waste crisis and help create a closed-loop economy, but we cannot do it alone,” said Christine Yeager, director of sustainability at The Coca. -Cola Company North America. “And who better than Bill Nye to help inspire everyone to understand, think, feel and behave differently about recycling. Yet there is still much to do – which is why we also advocate a well-designed collection policy, infrastructure funding and the creation of greater economic demand for recycled content. But Step One collects and recycles our bottles.
Recycling programs vary; To learn more about recycling programs in your local community, visit How2Recycle.info.
See more work from Mackinnon & Saunders at mackinnonandsaunders.com.
To learn more about Coca-Cola’s World Without Waste initiative, visit coca-colacompany.com.