Satire and Superheroes vs. Pyrolysis and Plastic Litter

17 May 2021 - Mainz - Company-News

Another viral video from Werner & Mertz with Hannes Jaenicke in the leading role

Things continue to look bad for plastic recycling. The production of new plastic is still too inexpensive, thanks to the tax-exempt use of crude oil, and the use of (disposable) plastic is still on an upward trend. Instead of designing packaging to be recyclable and recycling it mechanically after use, a large number of plastic lobbyists are betting on "pyrolysis". You might think that only a real superhero could preserve the energy-saving closed-loop circulation of plastic from doom. Spoiler alert! That's exactly what happens in a new viral spot from Werner & Mertz, once again featuring the environmental activist and actor Hannes Jaenicke. In the role of "Thor" – armed with recyclable cleaning products – he exposes the greenwashing of many big companies for what it is – a tall tale.

"With lots of special effects, clever plays on words and 'superheroes', our newest film is meant to raise the awareness of a broad target group. In a very funny and witty way, the spot makes clear that we can help our environment only if we put plastic into an energy-saving and climate-conserving cycle," said Reinhard Schneider, owner of the cleaning products manufacturer Werner & Mertz.

With a wavy blond mane, Hannes Jaenicke in the role of superhero "Thor" battles the "pyrolysis" promoted by his adversary Loko. The satirical video calls out the plastic lobby and exposes the absurdity of its greenwashing process for plastic recycling. Photo Copyright: Werner & Mertz

Superhero "Thor" against the greenwashing of the plastic lobby

Back to the beginning – what's the spot all about? Jaenicke plays a professional cleaning person named THORsten. With his colleague Günther (strongman Patrik Baboumian) he would like to do his job in an environmentally friendly way. But there's a problem. The nasty company boss Dr. Lokus swears by aggressive chemical cleaning products and the two colleagues have to meekly give in to his demands. When THORsten unthinkingly raises a bottle of poisonous cleaner to his lips, Günther strikes out at the bottle and inadvertently knocks THORsten out cold. In his dream world THORsten becomes THOR and the evil CEO Dr. Lokus turns into LOKO, his unrelenting archenemy, who's also his half-brother. LOKO proclaims the golden age of plastic and stands atop the organization "Arrogance against Plastic Trash". The attendant members – every one of them a vassal to the oil industry – have dreamed up something special for their greenwashing, that is, "The miracle of pyrolysis".

"Pyrolysis is the idea of decomposing plastic to its petrochemical components and then with the help of fresh oil to process it into plastic again. That is sold to us as recycling and it is absolute rubbish. So I call it 'pyro-lie'. Because genuine recycling works without the addition of fresh oil. Werner & Mertz has provided the proof for years that you can make a plastic bottle of 100 percent recycled plastic. That is just what the oil industry and, unfortunately, some players in the packaging industry, are trying to get around by promoting pyrolysis," said Jaenicke.

Of course THOR is having none of that and wages a colorful war against the Plastic Mafia. With "magical" cleaning products from the Werner & Mertz brands Frosch (for consumers) and Green Care Professional (for professional users), he transforms the slimy oil lobbyists, including LOKO, into recyclable plastic packaging.

The solution is here in mechanical recycling

All superhero action and biting satire aside, the video delivers an abundantly clear and serious message. Politicians should not support or encourage the pyrolysis process praised by the lobbyists because it damages the environment and climate and discourages investment in proven sustainable mechanical recycling. With products from the brands Frosch and Green Care Professional, both consumers and professional cleaning staff have the option of using cleaners in recyclable packaging made from recycled plastic. The products are known for their high quality – including in their cleaning performance.

Link to film: »

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Werner & Mertz GmbH
Corporate Communication
Birgitta Schenz
Rheinallee 96
55120 Mainz
Telefon +49 6131-964-20 28
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