Plastic Whale: Stop Talking Start Doing!

The Plastic Whale is sailing towards plastic-free oceans! While there is a growing interest around plastic free solutions and sustainable habits among millennials and gen Z, how can you ensure that this interest last in the generations to come? The Plastic Whale foundation aimed to tackle this challenge locally by recuperating plastic waste in the Netherlands and giving it a second life, building boats and even office furniture with this collected material. They also develop educational programs about the plastic soup, using the help of schools and teachers to deliver their vision of plastic-free oceans to the new generations.

We partnered with Meester Hidde to target children, encouraging them to fight against plastic waste.

A little bit about Plastic Whale…

Plastic Whale is an Amsterdam based company and one of the most influential Dutch players that aim to put a stop to the current working of the plastic production system. Not only do they advocate for companies taking ownership of the plastic they produce, but also became a proof that the plastic being wasted every year can still be an incredible material for new projects.

The company has had a fascinating path from building boats made out of plastic waste, to offering plastic fishing tours in the Netherlands and building whale-inspired office furniture out of the plastic bottles collected in the canals of Amsterdam. Yet, one of their most exciting projects they are currently working on is happening via the Plastic Whale Foundation they created in 2015. For a few years now, the foundation has aimed to reach out to children and teenagers, offering workshops and plastic fishing boat tours to raise awareness about plastic waste early on. The Plastic Whale and their foundation is thus the perfect example of a circular business. They are a mission-driven company, always considering their business strategy in terms of the good they can do and finding innovative and incredibly fun ways to spread their message.

Start #missieplasticvrijwater

Circular Stories helped develop the Stop/Start campaign, showing children what behaviors needed to be avoided regarding plastic use, and which habits should be implemented to save the oceans. This would take the form of a series of posts as well as a social media challenge inviting children to find creative ways to fight against the plastic soup. It would also run in parallel to new plastic fishing tours which would also focus on the Stop/Start campaign, showing children tangible ways to help reduce plastic waste.

Circular Stories helped manage the communication not only based on the audience that the Plastic Whale Foundation was targeting, but also the indirect actors who could become important partners. While children were the direct audience of the foundation’s campaign, teachers and schools were also at the center of the communication strategy, offering the perfect platform for sustainable education.

Tailor communication for audiences and channels!

The Plastic Whale foundation wanted to start a communication campaign aiming to engage children with the issue of plastic waste and turn them into direct actors of environmental change. Since the Covid pandemic made it harder to solely focus on collaboration with schools and organize seminars about plastic waste, the Plastic Whale Foundation decided to communicate in parallel with teachers and also reach out to teenagers more directly, through their social media channels.

Creating communication strategies about plastic waste management cannot be done overnight, especially when the main audience consists of children and teenagers. The foundation needed to figure out which platforms to use and how to use them. It is not sufficient to know where the audience can be found, the communication must fit the context in which it is offered. Since multiple channels would have to be considered, the foundation needed to tailor their content to the different platforms through proper messaging, videos, and call to action while developing a common identity for the campaign across all platforms and remaining attractive to potential school partners

Campaign Design

Circular Stories also developed a cross-platform identity for each post related to the Stop/Start campaign. This meant selecting a specific campaign design that fits Plastic Whale’s current branding strategy while catching the eyes of the target audience. The goal was thus two-fold: creating an attractive communication campaign about the project while supporting the Plastic Whale Foundation branding efforts. Multiple formats, color schemes, and slogan variations were proposed, always matching the already existing Plastic Whale brand elements.

The choice of vibrant colors for the titles was based on the Foundation’s current bright and playful blue theme. The Stop/Start campaign would make use of the same color palette while having its own identity through a series of slogans with a common design structure.

A multi-channel communication campaign

We helped organize and review the message framing for the different platforms, making sure to get Plastic Whale’s educational message across, either on social media platforms or through more direct contact like mailing lists. Circular stories thus reviewed and advised on the communication via all channels owned by Plastic Whale (social media pages, website, and mailing lists). This also included the utilization of Circular Stories’ own channels to expand the reach of the education and social media challenge campaigns even further.

Influencer campaign  for cross-platform projects

Circular stories supervised the recruitment and management of the influencer marketing campaigns for the social media challenge as well as the development of partnerships with schools in the Netherlands. This also included video production regarding these projects and scheduling of content deployment to reach in parallel the younger audiences and potential school partners.

Having both the challenge and the school education sessions at the same time was a key strategic component of the campaign as students from different schools would also compete for the most creative Tik Tok dance and related it back to saving the oceans.

The geography teacher and rapper Meester Hidde was the face of the #missieplasticvriewater challenge (mission plastic-free water), not only engaging a younger audience with the challenge through short and upbeat videos but also communicating about the issue of plastic waste and plastic soup. The main idea was to make children think about what they could do to become leaders of a more sustainable future and to put an end to plastic pollution through teamwork and a “Stop/Start” mindset.

Curious to know what we can do for your campaign?

Marielle, Ellekari, and the Circular Stories team have set themselves the mission to help tell the story of your sustainable business and advise your company to become among the leaders of the circular economy!

Interested in learning more about our work and what we can do for your brand? Get in touch!

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