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Plastics bristol june 8 chris rose updated 28 9 18

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This presentation was first given at a Bristol ‘Communicate’ Conference in June 2018. It summarises the development of the “plastics issue” and argues that the relevant ie effective and evidence-based framing is of plastic as a pollutant not litter or recyclable ‘waste’. The September 2018 blog Wood v Oil argues that ‘cellulosics’ could pose the end-game for fossil fuel plastic. chris@campaignstrategy.co.uk

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Plastics bristol june 8 chris rose updated 28 9 18

  1. 1. Plastics Crisis: How We Got Here Changing Minds Beyond Plastics Communicate, Bristol, 8 June 2018 updated 28 9 18 Chris Rose chris@campaignstrategy.co.uk www.campaignstrategy.org @campaignstrat
  2. 2. http://threeworlds.campaignstrategy.org/?p=1656 http://threeworlds.campaignstrategy.org/?p=1680 http://threeworlds.campaignstrategy.org/?p=1746 http://threeworlds.campaignstrategy.org/?p=1764 http://threeworlds.campaignstrategy.org/?p=1847 http://threeworlds.campaignstrategy.org/?p=1939 Plus 28 9 18 ‘Wood v Oil’ http://threeworlds.campaignstrategy.org/?p=2150 Much of the content explored in this presentation can be found in expanded form at these blog links: This presentation was first given at a Bristol ‘Communicate’ Conference in June 2018. It summarises the development of the “plastics issue” and argues that the relevant ie effective and evidence-based framing is of plastic as a pollutant not litter or recyclable ‘waste’. The September 2018 blog Wood v Oil argues that ‘cellulosics’ could pose the end-game for fossil fuel plastic. chris@campaignstrategy.co.uk
  3. 3. Why we ‘suddenly’ have a plastics crisis How the plastics industry used framing to evade responsibility What it means for campaigns to solve the plastics problem
  4. 4. spring 2017 #Rethinkplastic Image: https://www.bajanthings.com/the-ra- expeditions-thor-heyerdahl/
  5. 5. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j7OHG7tHrNM 14 billion views + The Crying Indian 1970
  6. 6. How we decide ?Easy way Intuitive Emotional Unconscious Reflexive Hard way Analytical Conscious Reflective 95%+ decisions rare Behaviours rationalisation www.campaignstrategy.org System 1 System 2
  7. 7. How we decide Easy way Intuitive Emotional Unconscious Reflexive 95%+ decisions Behaviours rationalisation www.campaignstrategy.org System 1 HEURISTICS VALUES
  8. 8. Framing- unconscious categories www.campaignstrategy.org “First we see – then we understand” Walter Lippman What is understood Man in frame image removed for copyright reasons
  9. 9. a frame determines what is good/bad how to decide and more besides www.campaignstrategy.org
  10. 10. Bad Good Problem Solution Responsibility: Personal Drop Pick up
  11. 11. Framing: Litter or Pollution? 1998 “This is not, the fault of the government. It is the fault of the people who knowingly and thoughtlessly throw it down.” Image http://www.anorak.co.uk/wp- content/uploads/2012/11/PA-2100904.jpg Mrs Thatcher with Environment Secretary Nicholas Ridley prepares to collect pre-spread litter in St James park for photo opp 1988 Removed for copyright reasons
  12. 12. Others know this stuff too Plastics industry 2017 Litter framing Children picking up plastic ‘marine litter’ Where the ‘litter’ framing strategy came from: Crying Indian Campaign by ‘Keep America Beautiful’, 1969/1970 “People start pollution. People can stop it”. Strategy puts responsibility on the public, not the packaging or plastics industry.
  13. 13. http://threeworlds.campaignstrategy.org/?p=1746 Public domain Mainly unconscious communication: daily life, advertisiing, politics, popular media (System 1) Analytical domain Mainly conscious communication, science, law, disciplines, policy communities (System 2)
  14. 14. FRAMING HEURISTICS VALUES We usually go this way Feels right Just seems like common sense …. FAST TRACK 1 A one of those
  15. 15. People arguing ! Slow: think Research needed Analysis City Collective decision making Ethical dilemma Cost benefit Unknown unknowns New data Calculation Avenue i After due consideration of all the facts what we think is … Check it FRAMING HEURISTICS VALUES We usually go this way Feels right Just seems like common sense …. FAST TRACK 1 SLOW TRACK 2 A one of those
  16. 16. Plastic as pollution 1970 - Heyerdhal Plastic as litter/ waste 1970 – 2001?? Plastic as pollution Moore 2001 Plastic as waste/ litter Govt/ recyclers
  17. 17. Heyerdhal reported oil and plastic but he only counted (and photographed?) oil. The UN acted – on oil, not plastic. Oil was more salient. Plastic pollution sank into track 2 world. Image from Kon Tiki museum Thor Heyerdalh Norway https://www.kon-tiki.no
  18. 18. 2001 Takada PCBs on nurdles 2004 Thompson microfibre build-up since 1960s 2001 Moore ‘plastic soup’ 2015 ‘All the plastic ever made’ Geyer, Jambeck 2011 Browne microfibres in sludge & washing effluent 2014 Eriksen 5 Trillion pieces Moore creates a new plastic as pollution frame – media reports microplastic science 2001
  19. 19. Example 1972 – 2009 ‘Plastic’ rarely in indexes of pollution books and not seen as a ‘pollutant’ in itself. Appeared as minor bit-part roles and in other guises/ silos both T1 and T2. Toxic additives eg CFCs, HMs Pollutant carrier eg PCBs Wildlife entanglement Beach / land litter eg bags Marine / land “litter”/ “debris” Minor roles in major pollution agendas Localised/specialist (marine) soluble as ‘litter’, ie physical recovery + Not a big ‘pollution’ issue Priority filter In environmental T2 world ‘plastic’ was outside the global pollution silo – took time to get in
  20. 20. Global Oceans Commission 2012 - 16 You mean plastic ? High Seas issues ? In public perception as ‘oceans’ issue; not an global political enviro’ issue 2008-14 2016
  21. 21. 2013 vol 22001 Plastics mentioned once - carrier for CFCs in styrofoam Plastics mentioned only for toxic additives EEA (T2) There was activity – but it wasn’t seen as ‘pollution’
  22. 22. Charles Moores book pub Oct 27 2011 Blue Planet 2 airs Oct 29 2017 in UK, Attenborough trails plastic in October 2017 Graph courtesy of Sigwatch ‘Plastic’ ‘activist’ global activity (T1) - Sigwatch 2011 2018 Moore voyages 2000>
  23. 23. Success of ‘Litter’ framing T1 + 2
  24. 24. February 2017 2013 2012 Moore voyages 2000> Marcus Eriksen T1 + T2 January 2017 October 2017: Plastic Whale – Sky – Blue Planet II BBC Breakout T2> T1
  25. 25. May 2018 Sept 27 2017 Biggest growth in India (Mumbai>) 2015-16 Afroz Shah T1
  26. 26. Breakout Factors T2> T1 catalyst science salience
  27. 27. ‘waste’ ‘pollutant’ ‘litter’ plastic Cognitive Model of ‘Plastic Problem’ Government policies currently accept the ‘litter’ frame and ‘waste management’. Campaigns will only shift these is there is public demand – if the public sees it as a pollution problem. This requires reframing (Track 1 communications).
  28. 28. ‘waste’ ‘pollutant’ ‘litter’ plastic What seems to be the right and effective solution to plastic as a problem, depends on how it is framed. The three dominant frames are as waste, as litter or as a pollutant. The litter and waste frames are linked by ‘recycling’. Microplastic redefines plastic as a pollutant. ‘recycling’
  29. 29. ‘litter’ Activation of the litter frame leads to ‘pick up’ and dispose of responsibly which = recycle. clean-up Dispose of responsibly Problem Solved plastic
  30. 30. ‘litter’ Activation of the litter frame leads to ‘pick up’ and dispose of responsibly which = recycle. The ‘recycling’ action ‘solves’ the problem from ‘litter’ and own use. Problem Solved plastic
  31. 31. The ‘recycling’ action ‘solves’ the problem from ‘litter’ and own use (own waste). WYSIATI = ‘What You See Is All There Is’ cognitive bias (Kahneman). The litter/waste gets recycled and the problem disappears – unless a different frame is triggered because you see different things.
  32. 32. Activation of the ‘waste’ frame also leads to recycling but on a larger scale Circular economy assumption Problem solved through “waste management” = problem solved by someone else ‘managing’ it, taking it away. Circular economy is something the public hears about, if at all, from professionals. They only see the green bin/ bank collection point. WYSIATI ‘waste’ Not visible – in professional world “waste crisis” “improve recycling system”
  33. 33. ‘pollutant’ Activation of the pollutant frame leads to an excpectation of danger, containment, control, warning, avoidance and elimination. Pollutants are too small to be ‘picked up’ and can get everywhere. Not easily visible Microplastic cannot be litter Is not recycled Does not fit ‘litter’ or ‘waste’ frames Policy rethink ? plastic
  34. 34. ‘litter’ clean-up Dispose of responsibly ‘Problem Solved’ ‘waste’ Circular economy assumption ‘pollutant’ Little focused demand for policy rethink Not branded as a problem But hard to see points of engagement? Summary of Current Position plastic
  35. 35. Ventile escapefromplastic.blogspot.com Avoidance & Substitution + new and emerging substitutes
  36. 36. Cellulosics – cellulose and lignin create new feedstocks to replace oil. > textiles, structural, plastic- like materials Eg Stora Enso, Metsa group Lenzing (Austria) Lyocell/ Tencel
  37. 37. Solution: Substitutions & Avoidance Behaviours Not ‘plastic recycling’ Tencell
  38. 38. http://threeworlds.campaignstrategy.org/?p=2150
  39. 39. ‘waste’ ‘pollutant’‘litter’ plastic ‘recycling’ avoid substitute Pollution continues to grow Phase out and elimination re circulation With huge losses to environment Pollution stops Recover residues Policies perpetuate plastic Policies phase out plastic
  40. 40. Sources Framing Heuristics Values Plastic & Track One and Two http://threeworlds.campaignstrategy.org/?p=1656 http://threeworlds.campaignstrategy.org/?p=1680 http://threeworlds.campaignstrategy.org/?p=1746 http://threeworlds.campaignstrategy.org/?p=1764 http://threeworlds.campaignstrategy.org/?p=1847 http://threeworlds.campaignstrategy.org/?p=1939 www.cultdyn.co.uk http://threeworlds.campaignstrategy.org/?p=2150 Wood v Oil

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