Plastic Whale

Creating a social splash for an environmental project with charm and vision.

A few years back, Marius Smit, together with Rogier Heijning, Lemon Scented Tea's creative director, wanted to do something to fight the ‘plastic soup’ in our waters.

Instead of endless talks about the severity of the problem they struck on the fantastic idea of building a design boat out of plastic waste from Amsterdam’s canals, and making it an icon for how creativity and an entrepreneurial mindset can help solve society’s challenges.

The approach was to create a movement that began with an annual event, plastic fishing in Amsterdam’s canals, which they called ‘Old Amsterdam plastic fishing’.

We designed graphic icons that appeared in all communications (mostly social posts), which brought the issue of plastic waste in our waters into the home of every Amsterdam citizen and involved them as much as possible in this positive movement.

Plastic whale activation social campaign
Activation and social campaign

Our positive approach laid the foundations for Plastic Whale to become a well-known social enterprise, with its founders giving talks all over the world.

The organisation now owns 9 sponsored boats in Amsterdam’s canals and a franchise in Rotterdam. These can be booked by companies, locals and tourists to spend a day on the canals fishing for plastic, the raw material to build new boats from.