Celebrate Reusables on Screen with Our New Tool

In the Northern Hemisphere, colder weather, longer nights, and time with family can often mean more opportunities to stream your favorite films and binge new or beloved TV shows. And if you’re anything like us, you can’t help but notice when a character you love has an emotional support water bottle, or when a beloved science fiction show knows enough about the harm of microplastics to make them a key storyline. But how can you mark it when you do spot these moments? With our new Reusables on Screen Form, you can help us celebrate reusable and refillable wins on film and TV.

“Plastic is Forever” is the slogan plastered across the promotional posters for the new Mean Girls movie musical. And while the writers of this movie certainly are referencing the pivotal mean girl group of the movie, referred to as “The Plastics,” the double meaning isn’t lost on us. 

Those of us at Plastic Pollution Coalition and Flip the Script on Plastics like to think this slogan means Tina Fey and the producers of the film understand, on some level, the toxic nature of plastics, and that, loaded with that understanding, the movie just might contain a tangible lack of single-use plastics replaced with more sustainable, environmentally friendly reusable alternatives.

In fact, since launching our Flip the Script on Plastics initiative in 2021, we have noticed more and more reusables popping up in our favorite TV shows and movies. This year alone we found significant reusable water bottle placement in Sex Education (Netflix), Shrinking (AppleTV+), and the movie Theater Camp. But we are certain there are more sightings that we simply have not had time yet to catch and reflect, which is why we need you as a part of our community’s help.

The Reusables on Screen Form

Mean Girls, Paramount Pictures

Introducing our new tool, the Reusables on Screen Form. A quick and easy way for you to let us know where you see reusables, refillables, or language about plastic pollution reflected in popular culture, so that we can highlight these wins, thereby  showing Hollywood that ditching plastic isn’t so hard after all.
The process is simple: If you catch a reusable feature in a TV show or movie, be them brand spanking new, or 20+ years old, open our form and let us know. Give us as much information as you can, but don’t feel bad if you didn’t catch the exact time or episode it happened in, even the title will go a long way.

What About Single-Use Plastics on Screen?

Jury Duty, Amazon Prime

We are still watching out for single-use plastics that show up on our screens, but at Plastic Pollution Coalition, we prefer to focus on the positives rather than the negatives. And, unfortunately, the amount of plastics on screen can at times be so high it’s impossible to count. We’re hoping that one day the same goes for reusables, and the more we identify these wins on screen, the more we can encourage the entertainment industry to keep up the good work and highlight even more reusables. 

If you spot reusables on screen and submit it with our form, don’t forget to drop your social media handles if you are willing; we would love to celebrate you as well as the plastic-free moments! If we choose to highlight the reusables you found, we’ll tag you in our posts and let you join us in our joy that another piece of media is working to Flip the Script on Plastics. So go ahead, bookmark the form, and get watching!

Learn More & Get Involved

Sex Education, Netflix

Learn more about Flip the Script on Plastics, including additional resources and latest news on how we’re helping Hollywood eliminate single-use plastics from sets and storylines. To get involved with our initiative, contact Amelia@PlasticPollutionCoalition.org

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There’s no entry fee. Deadline for submissions is August 1, 2022.

Are you a TV writer who wants to share positive, inspiring visions of a better future for people and nature on screen? Do you envision a world free of plastic pollution? Well, now’s your opportunity to inspire change by entering the Blue Sky Scriptwriting Competition!

Instead of the typical dystopian hellscape of a scorched earth, polluted by plastics, plagued by injustice, and wrecked by war, can you envision a new utopia?

If our efforts to create a more just, equitable, sustainable world free of plastic pollution are successful, what will the world look like 25 to 50 years from now? At Plastic Pollution Coalition, we are doing all we can to make that world a reality. We know that because life imitates art, we need a culture shift in the arts and entertainment to help give rise to the systems change we need now. 

What brave actions will get us there? What new stories could we tell? What problems might humans face in the future—and how will they overcome the challenges we currently face? Now’s your chance to show the world!

About the Contest

We’re calling on TV writers to show us how they can Flip the Script on Plastics for a new, brighter future that could be featured on the screen.

Plastic Pollution Coalition’s friends at Hollywood, Health and Society are now accepting submissions for their Blue Sky Scriptwriting Contest.

In partnership with the Future of Life Institute and the Writers Guild of America East, Hollywood Health and Society is offering fellowship grants for television scripts that focus storylines in a world set between the years 2045 and 2100. They are looking for stories set in a future that people would aspire to live and thrive in, to help encourage us to make the changes we need now to get there.

Five fellowships of $7,500 each and one grand prize of $20,000 will be awarded. Selected writers will also receive mentorships and expert consultations for script revisions.

Writing to Inspire a Better Future

It can sometimes be challenging to envision a brighter future like the one described here while living in a world so often dominated by doom and gloom. But the research, innovations, policies and grassroot efforts necessary to change things already exist. People leading positive changes are showing us that it is possible to create a better world. And since we are human, there will still be plenty of drama and comedy to go around—showing us that entertainment and depicting an inspiring new reality can go hand in hand.

Writers may tell whatever stories they want to in a pilot script for a TV show set in this “Blue Sky” future. The only requirement is to show audiences how society has gotten there, along the way. 

How to Enter

To enter the contest, writers must submit the following materials:

  • 30- or 60-minute pilot episode script set in a “Blue Sky” future. 
    • Your script can be a comedy or a drama.
  • Logline 
    • One sentence description of the story and premise.
  • Brief treatment 
    • Include a description of key characters and how the premise unfolds over a few episodes.

The material must embrace the world we need by incorporating themes of:

  • Racial equity,
  • Climate change mitigation or adaptation,
  • Advancements toward peace, and
  • Beneficial use of artificial intelligence (A.I.).

For additional rules, terms and more information, and to submit an entry, visit the Blue Sky Scriptwriting Fellowship website.

There’s no entry fee. The deadline for submissions is August 1, 2022. 

The winning writers will be announced in October of 2022 at the annual Sentinel Awards. The grand prize of $20,000 will be awarded in early 2023.

This contest is sponsored in part by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

If you are an active member of the entertainment industry, we also ask that you take a moment to sign our Flip the Script on Plastics Pledge to show your support of our initiative.