Here’s how Corona hopes to figure in reducing plastic pollution in Canada

Who: Labatt Breweries of Canada (Corona), with Anomaly, Draftline, Salt, Veritas Communications and Vizeum.

What: “Protect Paradise,” a new corporate social responsibility program addressing marine plastic pollution. It includes a partnership with Vancouver-based conservation organization Ocean Wise and its Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup program.

When & Where: The program coincides with World Oceans Day (June 8) but continues through the rest of the month, with a series of pop-up sculptures dubbed “Corona’s Plastic Beachgoers” appearing at waterfront locations in Vancouver, Toronto and Quebec City. It’s also being amplified on Corona’s social channels.

Why: It’s designed to help Canadians understand and connect with Corona’s commitment to protecting Canada’s water and shorelines from plastic pollution. The average Canadian uses more than 125kg of plastic each year, much of which finds its way into our lakes and oceans.

The pandemic has only exacerbated the problem, with single-use plastics such as gloves and masks significantly contributing to plastic pollution over the past year (according to some estimates, an estimated 129 billion face masks and 65 billion gloves were used globally each month during the pandemic).

Corona has made beach life a central aspect of its marketing for years, and shoreline protection has been one of its CSR focuses since 2017—with 50 clean-ups completed, 2,567kg of plastic removed and 1.6 million square metres cleaned. The beer brand has also introduced a series of measures aimed at reducing its plastic waste, including switching out all of its plastic packaging for compostable cardboard packaging in 2019.

How: The campaign centrepiece is a series of human sculptures created by Toronto artist and set designer Caitlin Doherty using plastic and other detritus scavenged from Canadian shorelines. While some of the figures give off a definite Swamp Thing vibe (see main picture), it is offset by their whimsical nature and bright colours.

The figures, including a surfer and reclining beachgoers, are being erected in Vancouver, Toronto and  Quebec City throughout the month, and feature a QR code driving people to the website where they can sign up to participate in a shoreline clean-up.

And we quote: “As Canadians, we are proud of our nation’s natural beauty, but we often assume marine plastic pollution is a problem elsewhere and are unaware of our own contribution to the issue. Corona recognizes that change needs to start with our own production lines and making market-leading changes to our beer packs is a tangible way we can set an example for the industry.” — Mike Bascom, senior marketing director, Corona Canada

Chris Powell