When you have 11 million Instagram followers, your simplest move can elicit thousands of comments. When you’re ready for a major transformation, such as shaving off the beard you’ve been growing since 2012, you can pair the shearing with a save-the-world message. So we understand a viral video of Jason Momoa, beloved Game of Thrones star, shaving off his beastly beard while talking about plastic pollution. The 39-year-old actor’s call for action is part of a growing wave of awareness of the 19 billion pounds of plastic waste winding up in the world’s oceans every year.
“I just want to use this to bring awareness that plastics are killing our planet,” he said before continuing with a solution. “There’s only one thing that can really help our planet and save our planet as long as we recycle. That’s aluminum.” Then, he took a long, refreshing sip from a can of water.
Somebody send the man a refillable bottle, please!
The canned water is still shrouded in mystery. It seems to be a promotion involving the Ball Corporation, but exactly what the product is and whether Game of Thrones fans and other thirsty people can buy it has not yet been revealed.
Fan feedback so far centers on discussion of Momoa’s hotness with or without a beard. Some fans also seem to be contemplating the plastic issue.
In Grist’s popular advice column, Ask Umbra, they’ve addressed this problem many times. Aluminum, Umbra has reported, is a mixed bag. Manufacturing the cans requires bauxite mining (not good), but it can be recycled endlessly and is valuable to recyclers (great). If the aluminum has a high recycled content, it’s generally a good choice. However, it is not the best. Umbra said, “None of the single-use beverage containers out there, with their raw material consumption and shipping impacts and less-than-optimal recycling rates, can hold a candle to a sturdy bottle you can rinse out and use ad infinitum.”
Image via Gage Skidmore