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The Challenge:

Even after the Government banned single-use plastics, India’s crisis worsened, with plastics drowning the nation. The shocking reality of 9.4 million tons of annual plastic waste suffocating marine ecosystems to the brink of disaster.

The traditional methods of public awareness and “Say No to Plastic” banners struggled to cut through the noise, fading quickly from memory and failing to instigate lasting change. It was time for someone to raise the alarm.

The Brief:

India’s biggest changemaker, The Times of India, set out to instill a habitual change in the careless consumption of single use plastic products. The need of the hour was a powerful initiative to shatter ignorance and spark lasting change.

The Objective:

Awareness about the dangers of single use plastic is very high.

It was time to Inspire Behaviour Change. It was time to encourage people to eliminate single-use plastic.

Please provide any cultural context that would help the jury understand any cultural, national or regional nuances applicable to this work e.g. local legislation, cultural norms, a national holiday or religious festival that may have a particular meaning.

In India, plastic is seamlessly woven into our daily lives. From packaging street food to bundling flowers in religious offerings, it is an integral part of our culture. With over 9 million tons used annually, it's prevalent in daily grocery bags, plates, cups, bottles, straws, toys and more. Wherever it can add convenience – plastic is present. This widespread usage poses the biggest challenge in breaking the Indian habit of carelessly choosing single-use plastics.

There have been campaigns done in the past at local and state levels, to varying degrees of success. Many regulations created to reduce usage of single-use plastics have come undone in the face of lobbying.

On July 1, 2022, The Indian Government announced an ambitious plan to curb pollution caused by littered and unmanaged plastic waste. A ban was imposed on the manufacture, import, stocking, distribution, sale and use of identified single-use plastic items, which have low utility and high littering potential. This covered 19 items, including disposable plastic thermocol cutlery and straws.

In spite of the ban, the deeply ingrained habits and cultural reliance on plastic persist. In the face of this unchanging habit and clutter of past creatives, The Times Of India realised the immediate need for a creative solution to change the habit of single-use-plastic.

India’s plastic waste generation has multipled annually over the last five years. Of the 9.4 million tons of annual plastic waste, 50% remains unutilized, adversely impacting the environment, the marine eco system, marine animals and even human lives.

Tell the jury about the illustration.

The #UnPlasticIndia campaign unleashed three powerful image alarms that simulate the opening of plastic bottles with human hands by twisting open the bottle necks but illustrate how the very act mercilessly kills marine creatures by suffocating them and twisting their necks with human hands. The human arm twisted marine animals asked a simple question looking into your eyes;

Still Using Plastic Bottles?

The mind-blowing, heart-wrenching, soul-stirring illustrations for the #UnplasticIndia Campaign brings alive the deadly truth of plastic pollution and the human impact on marine animals in the Indian Ocean. These alarming images elevate the sheer power of human imagination and are designed to shock and stay with you long after you see them and raise the alarm in your mind and then become a recurring image alarm every time you open a plastic bottle. Stay alarmed and end the habit of single-use-plastic now.

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