Unplastic India
2024 Finalist

Unplastic India

The Times of India

New Delhi, India

Category Public Relations and Community Service

Overview of this campaign

  1. Driving awareness of the issue: India’s plastic waste generation doubled from 15.9 lakh tons in 2015-16 to 34.7 lakh tons in 2019-20. In this scenario, this initiative was launched on June 5th – World Environment Day aimed at spreading awareness on the issue and helping readers find alternatives to using single-use plastic in daily life. The campaign used a series of startling – even shocking images of sea animals– to stun readers to read more about the issue and how they themselves could identify solutions for it
  2. Amplifying the human impact: Single-use plastic items are harming human health to the extent of having entered even our bloodstream, of damaging even unborn children. In this endeavour, TOI had to go beyond the newspaper and use voices which were credible and would grab attention. UNEP ambassador and celebrity actor Dia Mirza was leveraged to spread awareness and find alternatives to single-use plastics and what the solutions could be.
  3. Providing easy solutions: Unplastic India Challenge for 21 Days: Beyond the problem, it was critical to give easy solutions to readers empowering them to make a difference to their environment and consequently, to their lives. The campaign also tried to build a habit by sharing 21 tips to eliminate single-use plastic over 21 days. The idea was to break the habit and form new ones – giving each item a recyclable alternative, using which over a certain period would form a more environment friendly habit.
  4. Engaging readers with the cause:It was critical to go beyond passive information dissemination into getting readers to engage with the initiative, thus acknowledging their active participation in the cause and acceptance of its proposed solutions. In this, we had to connect with them across both digital and physical platforms. Partnerships were also built with multiple NGOs to spread awareness on alternatives available and they were active in corporate parks and RWAs across key cities to educate people and conduct plastic collection drives.



Results for this campaign

  1. Topical launch:  Launched on June 5th, World Environment Day. The campaign struck a chord due to the topical nature of the content on a day when it mattered most.
  2. Joining of Stakeholders: UNEP shared the campaign on their bulletin, several NGOS joined the movement, celebrities, green influencers, activists, artists, Resident Welfare associations, schools joined the initiative.
  3. Grabbing eyeballs: Unplastic India used a powerful set of images depicting the harm on marine life by single-use plastic to convey the impact. These images and other communication brought in immense social media traction – with over 71 million impressions and a unique reach of over 31 million users. The campaign was widely liked and shared.
  4. Engagement via a pledge: The key call to action of the campaign – signing an online pledge to eliminate single-use plastic – saw over 0.5 million people have already signed.
  5. Polarity: The positive polarity of the campaign, at 22%, was ten times the negative one at 2%, exceptional feedback for an issue that touches everyday life.
  6. Celeb and expert voices as force-multiplier: A video with the popular actress Dia Mirza, who is also a UN Goodwill Ambassador became the most popular communication used, with over 8 million views. Her explanation of how plastic impacts unborn children and is in the bloodstream was significant. Adding to this was the video of a person who had pioneered plastic free beaches in Mumbai, India’s financial capital – with over 1.4 million views – and videos of green influencers.
  7. Amplification via Public Art: The campaign saw India’s leading sand artist creating art on a beach depicting a marine creature being impacted by plastic. Another sand art installation created in the major southern city of Chennai grabbed eyeballs.





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