Bill Nye, the Sellout Guy

Gizmodo: “Bad news for everyone who loved watching Bill Nye the Science Guy during middle school science class: your fave is problematic. This week, Coca-Cola, one of the world’s biggest plastic polluters, teamed up with TV’s favorite scientist for a campaign to create a ‘world without waste,’ a joke of a corporate greenwashing campaign.”

“In a video innocuously titled The Coca-Cola Company and Bill Nye Demystify Recyclingan animated version of Nye—with a head made out of a plastic bottle and his signature bow tie fashioned from a Coke label—walks viewers through the ways ‘the good people at the Coca-Cola company are dedicating themselves to addressing our global plastic waste problem.’ Coke, Nye explains, wants to use predominantly recycled materials to create bottles for its beverages; he then describes the process of recycling a plastic bottle, from a user throwing it into a recycling bin to being sorted and shredded into new material.”

“The video is, on the surface, an accurate depiction of the process of recycling a beverage bottle. The problem lies in what recycling can actually do. Nye paints a rosy picture in the video of plastic Coke bottles being recycled ‘again and again’—but if everything worked like he’s said, we wouldn’t be facing plastic pollution that has grown fourfold over the past few decades.”

Related from Sara Goddard: Does Recycling Work? and 5 Common Recycling Myths

LoadingSave to Favorites