Electronic waste or e-waste is one of the fastest-growing waste streams in the world today. E-waste, is a term used for electronic products such as televisions, computers, mobile phones etc that have become unwanted, non-working or obsolete and could enter the waste stream.
India produces about 8 lakh tonnes of e-waste every year. At present, almost 90 per cent of this waste is recycled in the informal backyard (by kabadiwallas) with no regard to environmental safety. Apart from this, global companies find it much cheaper to dump their e-waste in India than go through the process of recycling in their respective countries.
Having said all of the above, E-waste can be seen as a potent resource waiting for technology to find a way to convert millions of tonnes into reusable, recycled energy.
Our association with Attero was just beginning, however the challenges that awaited us were huge. But then again, the adept motto goes, Love the Challenge’.
- 1) E-waste recycling was a relatively new phenomenon, with most people not realizing the extent of environmental damage this problem causes. In fact most people don’t even think about what happens to an obsolete electronic after they are done with it.
- 2) A relatively unknown entity in the space of e-waste recycling, Attero Recycling, was definitely not the first in the country with the technology. There was a need to establish them as an industry level player.
- 3) Besides awareness for the brand, the clear business objective was to increase the tonnage of e-waste collection for the plant to run at full capacity.
- 4) The problem of the unorganised market also created a huge challenge. In India, about 95 per cent of e-waste recycling is handled by the unorganised sector (the kabadiwallahs) who unfortunately, are not equipped with the technology or the capital to undertake recycling in an environment-friendly and safe manner.
- 5) People also receive money back for any scrap they pass to the kabadiwallahs. So technically, Attero did not provide any extra value, except feel good, which is only a fad.
- 6) Apart from the above challenges, the fact that there were no formal laws against e-waste dumping also was a major concern. Hence there was a need to build pressure on the Government to bring about policy reforms.
As an agency we began to believe in the potential of the Attero Process, and in the potential of E-waste.
Clearly a social awareness programme was needed to create the necessary awareness amongst people about the environmental and human-related issues. If people are well informed they’re better equipped to make thoughtful decisions regarding the use, disposal, and reuse of unwanted electronics. There was a need to sensitize the issue and create empathy for the cause.
All we needed to do hence, was to build Attero Recycling into a brand that first comes to mind when you think of e-waste. Plus showcase the true potential which lied in e-waste. Simply put, “It’s not waste, until it’s wasted” was the message developed.
Print Ads were done in leading magazines like Harvard Business Review and newspapers like Economic Times, with the sole intention to drive attention of CEOs and other corporates to create social awareness and encourage e-waste recycling. Many other marketing collaterals were created, right from Corporate Brochures, Pamphlets, Corporate AV to even E-Waste recycling bins. The campaign also spoke of the adverse effects of e-waste as well as the lack of safety and environmental standards followed by the kabadiwallahs.
The result was overwhelming. Attero was recognized by Forbes as one of the top 5 agencies to watch out for. It is the first e-waste recycler to be registered with the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), Ministry of Environment & Forests and now even The Government of India is committed to initiate a socially-responsible movement towards electronic waste. And the biggest of all, the plants began running at 80% capacity.