AIDC 2018: “War on Waste turbo-charged the issue”

With plastic bags facing a ban, ABC will next put laptops, batteries & plastic water bottles on notice.

A second season of ABC’s War on Waste later this year will drive campaigns on e-waste such as laptops and batteries, as well as targeting plastic water bottles.

“You will be demonised by the end of the year if you are seen with a plastic water bottle. Get a re-usable,” ABC Factual Commissioning Editor Stephen Oliver told delegates at the Australian International Documentary Conference yesterday.

The 2017 series presented by Craig Reucassel was a massive hit for ABC last year, not just in terms of TV ratings, but in how it drove Australians to address their own waste habits and triggering supermarkets to make change.

“#BanTheBag had a huge impact across the country. Every state has banned plastic bags except New South Wales, sadly. Coles and Woolworths have pledged to get rid of plastic bags by July this year and they weren’t doing that before,” he explained.

“There are people who have worked tirelessly in these areas for years but War on Waste turbo-charged the issue. We did engage with those organisations. We hired an Impact produce specifically for that -somebody I knew outside of television who had years of experience in waste and the issues.”

Central to the success of the series was the power of ABC’s infrastructure on TV, radio and online to further discussion with the audience. Whilst ABC often avoids political calls to action, waste was a subject that allowed everybody to get on board.

“The thing about waste is it’s not political. It’s actually a genuine issue that will make the world better if we learn how to renew, recycle, reduce. So we decided we could call it out and campaign, for a change that so clearly needs to happen,” Oliver continued.

“Everyone at the ABC was totally behind it. There was nobody that said ‘No, I think we should send more.’

“We specifically focussed on positive actions that people could take. It wasn’t a Four Corners-style expose that points the finger at the bad guys and leaves you enraged. We said, ‘This is what you can do.’

War on Waste is expected later this year.

2 Responses

  1. Exactly….and Redcycle group are recycling soft plastics and Repla are turning them into park furniture…soft play surfaces etc…they cannot get enough soft plastics…false economy…people will still litter with purchased plastic bags…

  2. “Based on evidence available to the Commission, the case for proceeding with the phase out of plastic bags appears particularly weak. A more cost-effective approach to addressing the underlying
    issues of concern would be to target plastic-bag litter directly.” (The Productivity Commission report on Waste Management). NSW is following the evidence, a lonely business these days. See the plastic manufacturers rubbing their hands with glee at the prospect of consumers paying inflated prices for plastic in bags that involve 100 times more plastic yet carry less items, crush them and can’t be recycled. And of course the plastic bags they will have to buy to line their bins, wrap an umbrella or gym clothes in before you pack them in your backpack rather then recycling free shopping bags.

Leave a Reply