While social media’s ‘age of activism’ continues to make waves in the industry, ahead of #WorldOceansDay on June 8th, Sky Ocean Rescue launched a social media campaign to prompt Unicode to join the ‘War on Plastic’.
Their campaign, #PassOnPlasticEmoji aims to promote and petition for the removal of the plastic cup and straw emoji 🥤 from Unicode keyboards across the globe.
The Core Idea
By removing the single-use plastic cup emoji from our keyboards, we go one step closer to removing them from our lives, to save marine wildlife, or rather the marine wildlife emojis 🐳🐟🐠🐬🐙🦀🦈🦐 (to give you a few examples).
— Sky Ocean Rescue (@SkyOceanRescue) June 6, 2018
What is social media’s impact?
Although the war on plastic may not be solved by the removal of the plastic cup emoji, it certainly does help in generating awareness, and showcasing that we are in fact, in an era of change, and social media will continue to help drive that change through the global conversation.
But they indeed aren’t the first to inspire the public to halt the acceptance of plastic. Companies like Coca-Cola, McDonald‘s and more, are pledging to make a change in the biodegradability of their plastics and products, while companies like A Plastic Planet‘s call for ‘One Plastic Free Day‘ (this past June 5th).
So why emojis?
With over 10 billion emojis sent each day, companies realise now more than ever that emojis have an impact. Just last year, we saw WWF take the emoji approach to inspiring change, with their #EndangeredEmoji campaign. In 2016, Apple made a controversial change to their gun emoji by changing it to a squirt gun and now the rest of Silicon Valley is following suit. Emojis are LIFE plain and simple.
As for the effectiveness of emojis on the climate change debate though? According to the Pew Research Center, in a survey taken in August of last year, no matter what, the conversation about climate change and its sister concerns (i.e. the War on Plastic) aren’t going away anytime soon. 61% of people across 38 countries are concerned about their country’s safety regarding climate change. Therefore, expect the conversation to continue across Twitter and its fellow platforms.
As for the #PassOnPlasticEmoji campaign… it is one to watch with well over 5,000 signatures on the change.org petition. So, after all, is said and done… are you ready to #makethechange and join the movement taking the plastic cup emoji out of your repertoire?