Talking rubbish: Auckland Council takes the Pixar approach to help teach filthy humans what goes where

New Zealand lags behind a number of other developed counties on the recycling front, but it’s slowly getting its act together, with the Love NZ campaign’s big mission starting to bear fruit and the vast majority of New Zealanders now having access to kerbside recycling. But there’s still a long way to go and, judging by the angry all staff email sent out among those working in the StopPress Towers yesterday about banana skins being left in the recycling bin, some are still in need of education. This is a problem the Auckland Council also faces on a much larger scale, so, as part of its long-term quest to reduce waste, it’s employed the services of two animated characters rather prosaically named Tin Can and Plastic to teach Aucklanders what can and can’t be recycled. 

One of Ogilvy & Mather’s last campaigns for Auckland Council after DDB recently took the business after a pitch, the 3D animated online film that features a polystyrene meat tray muscling in on the anthropomorphic recyling’s territory was created by Cirkus and, as its release says, it “showcases beautifully crafted character animation complemented with alluring texturing and lighting” (speaking of polystyrene trays, Foodstuffs won the Unpackit Award in 2012 for its use of this material and while there are many challenges to find replacements, especially for meat, there have been some developments in that area and Whole Foods set about finding a substitute in 2010). 

The ad sends viewers to a website www.makethemostofwaste.co.nz, which lets visitors see if they can recycle certain and learn about the recycling process. And it also created a couple of more practical online videos to further educate the masses. 

As part of its goal to be the world’s most liveable city, Auckland Council has a stated goal of being zero waste by 2040 through recycling, composting food waste, re-using items and preventing waste in the first place. 

The average Auckland household sends about 160kg of rubbish to landfill every year. Of this, 65 percent could have been avoided or put to better use. So the Waste Management and Minimisation Plan, the first region-wide plan for tackling waste, aims to reduce domestic kerbside rubbish (per person, per year) to landfill by 30 percent by 2018, reduce total waste to landfill (per person, per year) to landfill by 30 percent by 2027; and reduce council’s in-house waste by 30 percent by 2018.

To get there, it’s planning some changes, including a new food waste collection service for urban areas, enhanced recycling and a pay as you throw system for rubbish collection across the region. 

Maybe it could also take a leaf out of California’s book and ban plastic bags. 


Animation Director: Juggler Christian Greet

Character Design: Chan Ghee Leow, Human Cannonball Romain Borrel,

Daredevil Chris Lyne, Wrestler James Turnbull and Manipulator Kurt Adams

Animation Team: Jester Joon Seok Yoon and Mime Priyan Jayamaha

Producer: Ringmaster Marko Klijn and Contortionist Viktoria Fortune.

Ogilvy & Mather NZ Team –

Producer: Rob Linnow

Creatives: Rupert Hancock, Martin Hermans, Richard Loseby

Account Management: Nicole Lees

About Author

Comments are closed.