Bill Nye the Science Guy and Coca-Cola Teach Recycling in Fun, Accessible Video Short

Coca-Cola and Bill Nye (the Science Guy) team up to create a stop-motion video that aims to demystify recycling. In a unique twist, the actual materials used to model Nye and the set in the stop-motion animation are recycled or recyclable.

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As science educator Bill Nye always says, “It’s not magic, it’s science!” And now he’s helping to show the magic, and the science, behind recycling.

The Coca-Cola Company teamed with Nye to unveil an animated, stop-motion short film that illustrates the holistic recycling process. The film breaks down the ins-and-outs of plastic recycling for viewers to demystify the process, with a goal of inspiring action.

“As we know, we need to reuse plastic,” says Nye. “That’s why I’m partnering with The Coca-Cola Company to show the science behind the process of recycling and how we can continue to address the global plastic waste crisis, together.”

Produced for The Coca-Cola Company by Mackinnon & Saunders, the animators and puppeteers behind feature films like Fantastic Mr. Fox, Corpse Bride, and more, the film features an animated (and recycled) version of Nye who explains the end-to-end recycling process. As Nye narrates the process in his dynamic and engaging style, the content takes viewers on the circular journey of a plastic bottle, starting from the time it’s placed in a recycling bin to it coming back on the shelf as a 100% recycled bottle (excluding cap and label).

While roughly 59% of Americans have access to curbside recycling, 27% of plastic bottles are currently recycled in the U.S., according to statistics furnished by the company. The Coca-Cola Company wants to help change that.

One of the company’s goals as part of its World Without Waste sustainable packaging initiative is to collect and recycle a bottle or can for everyone it sells by 2030. The company is also committed to making 100% of its packaging recyclable by 2025 and using at least 50% recycled material in its packaging by 2030. This new film highlights that recycling is critical to “closing the loop,” or using and reusing the materials in plastic bottles again and again.

“We recognize our responsibility to help address the world’s plastic waste crisis and to help create a closed loop economy, but we can’t do it alone,” says Christine Yeager, Director, Sustainability at The Coca-Cola Company North America. “And who better than Bill Nye to help inspire everyone to understand, think, feel, and behave differently about recycling. Still, there’s much more that needs to be done. That’s why we’re also advocating for well-designed collection policy, funding infrastructure, and creating greater economic demand for recycled content. But Step One is collecting and recycling our bottles.”

Creatively, the approach to the film was not just about visualizing this process, but also reflected the use of recycled materials throughout. Beyond the recycled puppet of Nye, packaging materials from Coca-Cola packaging, including plastic bottles, labels, and cardboard were incorporated into every aspect of the short. Trees were made by reusing Sprite labels and conveyor belts designed from recyclable cardboard, creating a film that embodies recycling, design, and function.

Fans can watch the World Without Waste film at CokeURL.com/ClosedLoop. PW

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