PLASTIC POLLUTION CRISIS TAKES CENTER STAGE IN NEW EXHIBIT, THE BLUE PARADOX, OPENING JULY 1 AT THE MUSEUM OF SCIENCE AND INDUSTRY IN CHICAGO
SC Johnson and Conservation International Bring Visually Stunning Exhibition to MSI to Highlight the Urgent Need for Collective Action to Address This Global Threat
CHICAGO, June 13, 2023 - An ocean loaded with plastic garbage. Beaches so overwhelmed with waste you can't see a grain of sand. Microplastics in our food and drinks. It is one thing to read about; it's another thing to see in person how pervasive plastic pollution is within the largest ecosystem on our planet: the ocean. On July 1, the Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago (MSI) will unveil a powerful, immersive experience -— The Blue Paradox — where visitors can walk beneath the ocean's surface, explore the impact plastic pollution has on this vital natural resource, and discover the meaningful actions needed to stop plastic waste from becoming pollution.
Presented by SC Johnson, in partnership with Conservation International, The Blue Paradox was initially launched in 2021 as an immersive pop-up experience in London to make the ocean plastic crisis — and the collective actions needed to address it — relevant and relatable to everyone. The high-demand, sold-out event struck a nerve with Londoners, with 97 percent of attendees saying they planned to change their behavior for good. Inspired by this reaction to the exhibit, SC Johnson partnered with MSI to bring the experience to a world-class museum in the U.S.
"We are at an inflection point," said Dr. Fisk Johnson, Chairman and CEO of SC Johnson. "Time is running out to turn around the damaging effects of plastic waste pollution. While the challenges we face in stopping this crisis can seem daunting, overcoming them is possible. It starts with raising awareness and inspiring a movement of collective efforts on the tangible things that will make a meaningful difference. Business plays a vital role, and so does government and government regulation, and - importantly - all of us as individuals. That is why bringing this experience to life is important."
The exhibit aims to illuminate a paradox when it comes to plastic use: while the widespread use of plastic in our daily lives has led to considerable advancements in modern society, increased convenience, and reduced reliance on natural resources, it has become one of the most pervasive pollution issues facing our ocean ecosystem and the planet.
"We are delighted to work with SC Johnson and Conservation International to bring The Blue Paradox to our community, our guests and the broader public," said Chevy Humphrey, President and CEO of the Museum of Science and Industry. "At MSI, we strive to educate and inspire the public, and especially children, to find their inner, inventive genius. The Blue Paradox offers another opportunity to empower our guests to seek genius solutions that preserve natural resources for future generations."
As a global omnipresent issue, the plastic pollution crisis continues to make headlines. About 26 billion pounds of plastic is dumped into the ocean each year. Further, scientists continue to sound the alarm about plastic pollution in the Great Lakes region, estimating 22 million pounds of plastic enter the lakes annually. Researchers have even discovered 12 types of microplastics commonly found in bottles and packaging in the lungs of living people, in addition to previous studies that have shown plastic particle pollution in human blood.
"Billions of people rely on our oceans for food. Nearly a billion people have livelihoods connected to the blue economy. As plastic waste finds its way to the ocean, it impacts all of us and the vast majority of species on our planet," said Dr. M. Sanjayan, CEO of Conservation International. "The Blue Paradox brings the ubiquitousness and usefulness of plastic and the permanence and scale of its pollution front-and-center, encouraging visitors and businesses alike to take meaningful action. We're delighted to partner with SC Johnson both for this exhibit and in the ongoing fight for a healthy planet."
MSI is one of the largest science museums in the world, where more than one million guests experience science and industry in new and surprising ways annually. That made MSI the natural choice for The Blue Paradox experience, as both SC Johnson and MSI are committed to engaging the public, especially the next generation, in the science and innovation needed to stop plastic pollution and in the protection and preservation of the environment.
"Awareness about plastic waste is growing, and people are looking for information on how we all can be part of the solution," noted Johnson. "The Blue Paradox is an opportunity to capture that momentum, engage the next generation, and build on our desire to impact the issue positively."
Entrance into The Blue Paradox will be included in MSI's general admission ticket.