Cannes Lions

RECYCLING PROMOTION

MUDRA DDB GROUP, Mumbai / SANCTUARY MAGAZINE / 2010

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India has been environmentally friendly for the past 100 years. Our recycling also keeps in mind the economics. In this spot, we present the ‘raddi-wala’. The old newspapers and magazines are called 'Raddi', and it is customary for Indian households to stock a stack of old newspapers.

The 'Raddiwallas' are collectors of household waste – they cycle down dusty lanes, chanting soporific sing-songs, encouraging people to sell them their recyclable waste.The ‘Raddiwala’ buys the old newspapers (at some fixed rate, around Rs. 6/kg). He weighs the paper, calculates the amount and gives the money with a smile. He then fills his sack with the paper and sells his collection of old newspapers, magazines, glass bottles, old plastic containers to a wholesale ‘raddi-wala’, who in turn sells his collection to paper mills that produce recycled paper. While they make a living collecting our waste, they also, perhaps unintentionally, make the most crucial contribution to the cycle of waste collection and recycling in the country.Widespread poverty in India has made many people willing to work to extract value from our wastes in ways that aren't the norm in developed countries. There is much we can learn from the mistakes of the 'throwaway' societies of the west, lest we are swept by a culture of disposability that lays waste to the environment and public health.This type of system has been in decline in recent years. The objective of this radio spot is to remind the people about the custom of ‘Raddi’ and encourage them to keep going this way.

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