A Whale’s Tail Analysis

There are plenty of short films that have been released which tell the story of plastic and explain how it has impacted our environment. For example, we have watched several short films in class, such as the Story of Plastic and the short mockumentary. I decided to look at a different style of video for this assignment, and I took a look at a short cartoon video that was released by Cartoon Network and depicts the story of a Whale’s Tale that is stuck in plastic. The title of the video is “A Whale’s Tail” by CBC Kids.  This film is meant for younger audiences, such as children who watch Cartoon Network. The purpose of the film is to educate kids on the effects of plastics in the ocean and how they harm marine life. The organization that released this video is a Canadian children’s network, and after doing some research, I could not find any means for bias within their organization. They educate children on global issues in a way that is easy to understand and does not put too much pressure on the youth.


From a child’s perspective, the trash is harming marine life and causing harm to the animals’ atmosphere. In the short film, the fishermen are looking in the water while putting a fishing net from the water. After picking plastic from the net, a fisherman becomes scared of a loose crustacean in the net. He drops the net in the water, which eventually catches on a whale’s tail. Following that, there is another scene where there is a jellyfish that camouflages from a sea turtle because it is surrounded by plastic bags. The sea turtle cannot distinguish the difference between plastic bags and their food, which causes a false sense of fullness, called satiety.


In the film, the animals work together to “clean up” the ocean by collecting the trash and placing it in the net that is caught on the whale’s tail. By doing so, they cleaned up their habitat but had to do so by harming the whale. Children understand this message and are able to feel sympathy for the hurt whale. Finally, the marine life work together to raise the whale to the surface so it can breathe. When arriving at the surface, the fishermen who lost their net on the whale’s tail helped to free the whale from the trapped net and garbage mess.

Image from A Whale’s Tail (CBC Kids) Youtube.


Overall, I believe that this short film was very effective in teaching the basics of ocean pollution to children. They can only understand this topic to a certain extent, because not even adults are able to tackle this issue entirely. The network created a film that is educational, emotional, and effective in teaching the audience to not pollute the ocean, which is a great message to spread to new generations. After all, it will affect them the most as global warming is an increasing issue.





Green Business Feature

I have always been told it is important to support the companies you have strong beliefs in and do right for the planet, versus some big box retailer like Walmart or Sams Club.  Patagonia is one of these companies, and they believe in giving: giving back, giving again, giving knowledge, and giving used.

Let’s start with if their clothing and merchandise is truly sustainable. Their production line uses 87% recycled materials. This means the majority of their items are made from recycled materials; raw virgin products are only sourced when they are really needed. Making this switch within the company has allowed Patagonia to avoid releasing around 4.300 metric tons of CO2 into the environment and air we breathe.   This is enough CO2 to power 500 houses for an entire year. Patagonia also works with farmers to source out their newly grown cotton. Since 1996, all virgin cotton used in the production of their clothing has been organically grown. This helps save water and reduce CO2 emissions by 45% when compared to conventional cotton.

Cotton Field

Now let’s talk about consumer impact and how you too can make a change if you purchase one of their products. On the Patagonia website, they have a section all about keeping your products in play and helping extend their product lifetime as long as you can. Sections include “How to Better Your Sweater”, aka get rid of pilling from constant wear and friction, “How to Patch your Insulation”, “How to Fix Your Button”, and “How to Fix Your Zipper Slider”. Each of these titles are videos where a representative shows real life examples to extending a products lifetime and walks you step by step on how you can do it for your products too. I think this section is important because it helps show consumers they too are responsible for their purchases and what impact they hold on the environment. If every customer were to throw out a jacket when the zipper breaks, this would lead to a landfill of nearly perfect condition clothing going to waste.

Patagonia Hiker

What happens if an item is in like-new condition but it’s not your style anymore? Patagonia has a plan for that too. The section of their brand, known as Worn Wear, accepts worn but good condition clothing in exchange for store credit. They then sell the item you traded in for a discounted price so it can be enjoyed and loved by someone new for even more years to come. Patagonia is committed to taking back 100% of gear consumers send in and making sure it has a place other than the landfill. If items are not fully salvageable, ReCrafted comes into play. This is a line of clothing that uses scraps from multiple pieces and repurposes them into something new and functional.

Finally, Patagonia has committed to putting 1 percent of all sales into restoration and preservation of the Earth and natural environment. 1 percent may not seem like a lot, but since 2002, Patagonia has been able to donate over $140 million to environmental groups that are committed to making a change, just like they are.

After looking into this company, I truly believe they are committed to staying green and impacting the planet in a positive way and they want us to be apart of this impact too.

A Coalition to End Plastic Waste


Making Sustainable Change is a collaborative effort of America’s Plastic Makers® and partners seeking to end plastic waste. Because plastic is essential to creating a lower-carbon future, building our nation’s essential infrastructure and strengthening our domestic supply chains, we are taking action to prevent it from going to waste.”

Making Sustainable Change is a creation of the American Chemistry Council’s Plastics Division and its members. These members include some of the largest plastic manufactures in America.

The vision this coalition of corporations has for a sustainable future involving plastics is: “We’re working for a more sustainable future by investing in solutions that can reduce plastic waste while lowering carbon emissions throughout the plastics lifecycle. And our actions toward a low-carbon future go hand in hand with our goal of protecting the environment — we’ve set a goal of making 100% of plastic packaging used in the U.S. recyclable or recoverable by 2030, and eliminating plastic packaging waste by 2040.”

This vision emphasizes the desire to expand recycling capabilities and reduce plastic waste. However, I think it is important to realize what they mean by “reducing waste.” I believe what they suggest is to try rerouting plastic destined for landfills back towards manufactures to be incorporated into new plastic. It is a vision of a circular plastic lifecycle. However, it appears they want the volume of plastic being consumed to remain constant or increase. They make no mention of reducing the amount of plastic being consumed. Further, their advocacy of recycling is in contrast towards organizations that show current recycling approaches to be an ineffective way to reuse plastic. The plastic soup foundation states, “The problem with recycling plastic is that it doesn’t really happen. For example, plastic litter is not separated during collection in The Netherlands. It can’t be used to make the same products again; for example, food packaging that is recycled cannot be used again as food packaging.” You can’t rely on recycling to create a circular economy if the plastic cannot be reused to create the same product again.

“By changing our approach to how we make, use and recapture plastic while emphasizing the value and versatility of a material that enables us to do more with less, we can create a lower-carbon and lower-emission future.”

When reading about this organization, you encounter repeated use of “we.” This implies an extended manufacturing responsibility for plastic. However, their advocacy for recycling shows an extended consumer responsibility for plastic waste. These companies don’t appear to want responsibility for their plastic after it leaves their manufacturing plants.  There is no mention of the environmental externalities of plastic and how they could address them. There is no solution presented for addressing the current plastic in the environment. There is nothing that shows that these companies want to take responsibility for the full lifecycle of their product. Which is needed for a circular plastic lifecycle to exist. The messaging of the organization doesn’t match its actions. I can’t see any meaningful desire to address the plastic problem in the short term from this organization.


Saving The Sea

This world’s focus is on trying to find efficiency around the world and we managed to do that with plastic. But now without a growing population, it has become a world problem and we need to find a way to make it safer for our future generation. The Washington Post talked a lot about how plastic pollution has taken over our ocean and is hurting marine life more and more each day. These single-use disposable plastic items are being used more and more each day due to the pandemic and people need to get off their butts and start doing something to make a solution for the problems we are causing.

26,000 tons of which is now in the world’s oceans, where it threatens to disrupt marine life and further pollute beaches”. We are the ones that have made this a problem and we need to be the ones to fix it. The amount of plastic that has ended up in the ocean is insane. I know that there have been a lot of people volunteering to clean up around them but it’s still not enough. We need to get the word out and spread more awareness so that our world doesn’t end up trashed and destroyed. These findings were found this month and are now linked to the health crisis of the environment and humankind. Wildlife is also another problem. People throw their plastic and their trash out their windows and don’t think about the animals or marine life that it is going to end up hurting. Especially with the pandemic going on, there has been way more plastic disposable used in the last year, and “As of July, there were 61 recorded instances of animals being killed or disrupted by pandemic-linked plastic waste”. We need to start finding alternatives for all the single-use plastic we have been using. I know it’s hard right now with all the health risks due to Covid but finding an alternative or starting to care about the environment around you will help even a little bit.

Another thing that happened due to Covid was “the suspension or relaxation of restrictions on single-use plastic products globally”. Many people are thinking about their health during Covid right now so single-use plastic bands aren’t too much in effect as of right now because people are being selfish and not caring about their environment around them and trying to find a better alternative. Another thing is hospitals have been using single-use plastic much more now for safety reasons and it now accounts for over 70% of the pollution that is discharged into oceans. again I know people are thinking about their safety and health because of the pandemic but we need to be more interactive about finding solutions for these problems because it’s only getting worse by the minute.

This news article was posted just last week on November 10, 2021, which means we haven’t been doing much about it for the past almost 2 years we’ve been in this pandemic. We need to start being selfless and thinking about our environment or else it’s going to be too late and we won’t have much to save.