South Africa sets example for others to follow in environmental initiatives.
It took 2 000 collected plastic bags and woven together by seven self-employed crafters to create a 40 square metre ‘canvas’ on which South African bank, Nedbank and its advertising agency partner, Net#work BBDO, spread it's message of commitment to the preservation of the environment. It took six weeks to produce and was a challenge to the crafters who had previously not made anything larger than a door mat.
It is the third in the Nedbank series of billboards for good. The first being the solar panel billboard that powers up a kitchen in Alexandra in Johannesburg and won top international honours at the 2006 Cannes Advertising Awards.
It was followed by the second solar billboard with a wind turbine. This was placed at the Cape Mission School in Cape Town. It supplies power to its kitchen, security lights and geysers, saving huge amounts on electricity each month.
According to Net#work’s Executive Creative Director, Rob McLennan, the agency has become fully focused on making a social difference while building its clients’ brands.
“In this case, we could really see the potential of the humble plastic shopping bag to make landmarks of positive change. This billboard has created jobs, married advertising with social conscience, showcased our local artistry and has removed some of the countries non bio-degradable rubbish.
“If this billboard can help to create more awareness of the country’s plastic problem and the positive impact that recycling can have, then Nedbank will have further entrenched its reputation as the nation’s truly ‘green’ bank.”
Greg Garden, Nedbank’s Divisional Executive Group Marketing, said the ‘plastic’ billboard is part of the Nedbank Group’s culture of conservation and environmental awareness that “recently saw us become the first SA bank to publically commit to energy reduction targets, throughout our business via our Climate Change Position Statement.”