Gaia's Controversial Campaign on Pollution and How It Signaled an Alarm on the Damaging Animals' Impact

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GAIA’s controversial campaign on pollution and how it signaled an alarm on the damaging animals’ impact

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Plastic Bags Kill

Everyone knows that littering isn’t a good thing, and that people need to be more considerate towards recycling, but one company decided to make an advertisement that shows the effects of not properly recycling. A group, known as the Global Action in the Interest of Animals (GAIA), produced bags that have images of animals on them. The bags have animals on them with their head over the part of the bag that a person’s hand goes through. This makes it look like the person holding the bag is holding the animal by the neck, and its body is hanging down from there. I know for sure that there are a lot of people out there who would absolutely hate carrying around that bag. They would do everything in their power to get out of having to carry that bag around. The big question I see people wondering about is, why would they go with such a graphic design?

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First things first, these were not released at all in America. These bags were only released in Malaysia and Belgium. I’m pondering the fact about if these were released in America. Would PETA have a fit over them because it looks as if it’s promoting holding animals by their necks, or would PETA actually support the bags, since they promote recycling in an effort to reduce animal deaths? Even if they did support the bags, it’s the plastic bags that are killing the animals, not people physically holding animals up by their necks. So even if they were to support it or ridicule it, they’d be creating a bad image for themselves. I think the creator of these bags is trying to suggest that improperly disposing of a plastic bag is no different than wringing an animal by its neck. So instead of reducing the amount of plastic bags out there, they decided to show why it’s important to recycle plastic bags, hoping that they’d recycle the bag they received from them, along with any other plastic bags the individual, group, or family receives from that point forward.

This advertisement is definitely using pathos to remind people to dispose of plastic bags correctly. This is known because it causes people to have sympathy for the animals, knowing that if they don’t recycle plastic bags like they’re supposed to, it’s going to kill innocent animals. The whole point of making this bag was to provide awareness so people would think twice before just throwing a bag away, or not even properly disposing of it.

As far as ethos, there’s not really anything to show if the advertisement is using legitimate facts or not. It’s widely known that trash kills animals, but people may not know that plastic bags kill animals just like other trash. The reason animals die from plastic bags is because they ingest them, thinking they’re a jellyfish or other food source. Then once they eat the bag, they choke to death. The big problem with plastic bags, though, is that they don’t decompose unless they’ve been decomposing for a very long time. So when an animal eats a plastic bag an dies from it, the animal decomposes faster than the bag does, and the bag is on the move again, waiting for another animal to eat it up.

Logos, similarly to ethos, doesn’t have much of a presence in this advertisement. Yes, everyone knows that trash kills animals, and the logical thing to do is to recycle things that are recyclable. If anything, the logos of this advertisement is to show how unintelligent some people can be when it comes to properly disposing of trash. If people don’t know what recycling is, or what can and can’t be recycled, they should really ask around about how to do such a thing.

Part of me wonders if this company thought about what they were doing before they made this bag. Yes, it’s a great way to get the word across that plastic bags kill animals, but why would you use plastic bags as your medium of advertisement? Isn’t that just creating an even bigger problem because now there’s another company making plastic bags. What if their bags aren’t being recycled? Is that company now aiding in killing animals just like any other producer of bags? I feel like it would’ve been better if this company produced a couple of these bags so they could take pictures of them, then make a billboard or something out of one of those pictures. Then the company still gets their message across about how plastic bags kill animals, but they’re not making tons of bags that could potentially kill animals.

All in all, I feel like this advertisement had good intentions, it was just executed poorly. I think it’s a great advertisement because it really pulls at the heartstrings of people since they realize that plastic bags kill animals. But putting the advertisement on plastic bags just seems like a step in the wrong direction. With how graphic the image is on the bags, it makes me wonder why they would put something like this on a bag. Hopefully the company that made these realized the hypocrisy their method of advertisement introduces, and changes their form of advertising.

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