Pornhub launches environmental campaign targeting the ‘dirtiest beach’

Tidying up.
Tidying up.
Image: Pornhub
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Porn, but make it philanthropic. That’s the ethos behind Pornhub Cares—the charitable arm of the pornography streaming giant—and its latest humanitarian venture: a beach clean-up campaign.

Pornhub’s “Dirtiest Porn Ever” operation is here to help clean up our disgusting beaches by producing a video in which a well-known pornstar couple has sex on a litter-covered beach. Meanwhile, cleaners in Pornhub-branded hazmats suits tidy up the rubbish.

Per Pornhub Cares, each view of the video results in an (unknown) donation to Ocean Polymers, a British recycling technology company that specializes in collecting and reprocessing plastic from the ocean and turning it into fuel. The accompanying Pornhub website also includes information on the problems of single-use plastic, and tips for sustainability.

“We’re dirty here at Pornhub, but that doesn’t mean our beaches need to be,” Corey Price, vice president of Pornhub, said in a press release. This is the third environmental initiative from the adult video website’s charitable arm, which has also launched campaigns to plant trees and donated to organizations that focus on honeybee research and preservation.

Before we applaud the porn giant, it’s worth mentioning that beach clean-ups can serve as low-hanging fruit for companies to earn sustainability kudos—fossil fuel corporations are frequent sponsors. And while it might not seem like Pornhub has an image in need of greenwashing, consider the energy used while users stream from the site.

A recent study by French think tank the Shift Project measuring the carbon emissions associated with watching online videos (Netflix, YouTube, pornography, etc.) noted that 1% of global carbon emissions come from streaming. An entire third of that is just from streaming pornography. The carbon emissions associated with watching Pornhub’s nearly 12-minute clip, according to the Shift Project’s Firefox plug-in Carbonalyser, are about the same as driving for half a mile.

In any case, Pornhub and its beneficiaries have their work cut out for them: It’s virtually impossible to track how much trash is discarded in the Earth’s marine environment. The World Ocean network estimates it’s some 5.9 metric tons (6.5 million tons) annually. Meanwhile, a 2017 report published in Science Advances estimated that 4 to 12 million metric tons of plastic waste entered marine environments back in 2010.