WWF Began a 450-Year Livestream of a Plastic Bottle Decomposing

But please, take action ASAP

Some things can't be rushed. For example, a conventional plastic bottle takes more than 450 years to decompose. 

Other issues require immediate action. These include making vigorous efforts to safeguard the environment and end our dependence on plastics—lest Earth's oceans coagulate with garbage, fucking up the food chain, and our disconsolate descendants wind up wading waste-deep through centuries-old soda containers and fast-food cartons. 

Toward that end, the World Wildlife Fund and Lisbon agency Nossa launched what they're billing as the longest livestream video ever. You can watch a plastic bottle decompose in real time. Given the durability of that particular material, the receptacle will still be there, doing its thing, very slowly, hundreds of years after today's viewers have turned to dust.

"Users have a natural interest in livestreaming," says Nossa creative director Nuno Cardoso. "One proof of this is the growth of sites like Twitch, which every day gets more subscribers. For this reason, we saw in this tool a possibility to show everyone how slow the process of decomposing plastic is, in an attempt to sensitize them, to gather more people around the cause."

Of late, long-lasting ads have enjoyed a vogue. Virgin Atlantic and U.S. Cellular tried pre-rolls that lingered six and seven hours apiece. Shine On Sierra Leone built a website that took five hours to scroll through, representing the time it takes some kids in the West African nation to trek to school and back each day. And, perhaps most notably, Louis XIII Cognac created a movie, starring John Malkovich and directed by Robert Rodriguez, that won't be released for another 100 years.

Those efforts scored considerable attention, and the WWF's entry makes its point in a timely fashion. 

Launched during Earth Hour on March 28 in Lisbon's main square, the push generated media coverage along with 500,000 signatures for an online petition that will be presented during a United Nations meeting on the environment.

CREDITS

Agency: NOSSA 
Client: WWF 
Client Executive Director: Angela Morgado
Client Marketing Director: Ana Gama, Marta Barata, Rita Rodrigues
Creative Partner: Nuno Presa Cardoso
Managing Partner: Duarte Durão
Digital Partner: Vasco Teixeira-Pinto
Creative Director: Nuno Presa Cardoso, Rafael Clark Pfaltzgraff 
Creative Supervisor: André Alves Afonso
Art Director:  Rafael Clark Pfaltzgraff, Sávio Hatherly
Copywriter: Marcus Seixas
Artwork: Estela Pereira
Producer: Inês Cardoso Menezes

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David Gianatasio
David Gianatasio is senior editor at Clio Awards.