Every time we go to a 7-Eleven, we are bombarded with numerous pieces of plastic we immediately throw away. Be it straws, bags or wrappers of various kinds, much of the plastic items we so casually throw away makes its way to the ocean, where it kills millions of marine animals each year who mistake the items for food.
Just this year, Thai authorities scrambled to clean up a 100 tonne island of garbage off the coast of Prachuap Khiri Khan province, a popular tourist diving destination. Thailand is currently one of five countries that produce more than 60% of plastic waste to the world’s oceans, the other four being China, Vietnam, the Philippines and Indonesia.
To raise awareness on the issue, photographer Ben Zander — in collaboration with the charity crowdfunding site Weeboon — has recently launched the Death By Plastic campaign. With a goal of raising 400,000 baht, the photographer aims to use the money to finance 10 photo-shoots with 10 different celebrities, who have agreed to lend their star power to the campaign for free. The products of these shoots will be exhibited and sold, with proceeds from sales going towards buying paper bags to replace plastic ones for various 7-Elevens around Bangkok. The celebrities in question include world-class muay Thai fighter Buakaw Banchamek, Penny J Lane (from The Face Thailand) and MC Dandee (from the Bangkok Invader Crew), to name a few.
The campaign will also feature short documentary clips for each of the different locations, which Zander says “tells the bigger story of plastic waste” in Thailand. The documentary clips will be gradually released as they are produced, with the first one now available on Zander’s website, benzander.com.
As of now, the campaign has raised only 3,500 baht out of its 400,000 baht goal, and has completed three of out its 10 planned shoots. The money raised will go towards expenses such as travel fees and accommodation for the cast and crew, as well as the production and exhibition costs for the photographs and documentary clips. You can donate as little as 50 baht to as much as 5,000 baht to the campaign right now at weeboon.com/en/campaigns/death-by-plastic.