National Geographic’s ‘Planet or Plastic?’

The multimedia exhibition encourages visitors to reduce single-use plastic in their lives. “Planet or Plastic?” will be on display at the Texas State Aquarium in Corpus Christi, TX from May, 28 2021 through Labor Day, September, 6 2021.

Plastic has become so commonplace that it’s easy to ignore our dependence on it. The National Geographic “Planet or Plastic?” exhibition endeavors to change that by showcasing the global plastic waste crisis and highlighting innovators working to solve this urgent issue. The exhibition builds upon National Geographic’s multiyear global initiative aimed at raising awareness about the crisis to reduce the amount of single-use plastic reaching the ocean. “Planet or Plastic?” will be on display at the Texas State Aquarium in Corpus Christi, TX from May 28, 2021, through September 6, 2021. Access is included with admission or membership!



‘Planet or Plastic?’ is developed and traveled by the National Geographic Society.

The exhibition tells the story behind plastic from its invention just over a century ago to its current mass consumption through visual storytelling with multimedia elements including 70 profound images as well as powerful infographics and videos. This man-made material has revolutionized medicine and eased space travel—it also extends the shelf life of fresh food, allows for the delivery of clean drinking water to those without it, and when used in airbags or helmets saves lives. Yet, despite its utility and convenience, an exorbitant amount of plastic products are disposed of improperly with some 6.3 billion tons of plastic waste left unrecycled.  

photo credits

MANDY BARKER – Discarded fishing line has formed nest-like balls due to the tidal movements of the ocean. Along the way, the balls have collected other debris in their path. Some of the balls also resemble jellyfish or other marine creatures.

RANDY OLSON – Plastic bottles choke the Cibeles Fountain outside City Hall in central Madrid, Spain. An art collective called Luzinterruptus filled this and two other Madrid fountains with 60,000 discarded bottles as a way of calling attention to the environmental impact of disposable plastics.

JORDI CHIAS – A loggerhead turtle is ensnared in an old plastic fishing net in the Mediterranean Sea off the coast of Spain. The turtle could stretch its neck above water to breathe, but it would have died if the photographer had not freed it. “Ghost fishing” by derelict or abandoned fishing gear is a big threat to sea turtles and other marine mammals.

About the National Geographic Society  

The National Geographic Society is a global nonprofit organization that uses the power of science, exploration, education and storytelling to illuminate the wonder of the world, define critical challenges and catalyze action to protect our planet. Since 1888, National Geographic has pushed the boundaries of exploration, investing in bold people and transformative ideas, providing more than 14,000 grants for work across all seven continents, reaching 3 million students each year through education offerings, and engaging audiences around the globe through signature convenings and content. To learn more, visit 

‘Planet or Plastic?’ is developed and traveled by the National Geographic Society.

Access is included with admission or membership!