Dia Mirza on Reducing Plastic in Advertisements

Mirza calls on Advertising Companies and Businesses to De-Normalise Plastic Use

Original article published in DNA India in June, 2018.

“Imagery of use of plastic products in films and advertisements have normalised its injudicious usage by people in real life but several engagement forums are being developed to effect reduction of that imagery.”  

- Dia Mirza said today.

Dia Mirza, actress and activist, said when iconic film stars and influencers in the film industry refuse to use single-use plastic, "the message goes far and wide.”

Interacting with reporters at the UN India Office, she also lauded the efforts of Vadodara-based activist Rajeshwari Singh, who here today completed her 1100-km-long journey on foot from Gujarat to Delhi in 45 days, to spread the message of the "plastic menace" to environment. The activist told reporters that during her travel, spanning multiple states and several cities, she did not use plastic bottles at all to drink water. "When I stopped by at any rest house, circuit house or even hotels to take rest, people would offer me water in bottles, which I just refused, and instead drank from a 'matka' (earthen pitcher) or asked to serve it in jugs and glasses. If I had used plastic water bottles, the message would have got diluted," Singh said.

Mirza, a former Miss Asia Pacific in response to a question admitted that use of plastic bottles and straws shown in films, TV shows and advertisements, have in a way normalised injudicious usage of plastic by people in real life." But, we (she as goodwill ambassador with the UNEP) are developing several engagements forums, so as to engage with advertising and film industries, to reduce that imagery of plastic on screen, e.g., discontinuing use of straw," she said.

"Such images on screen affect people's consciousness subliminally. So we are seeking to engage with people in the industry, and soon the audience would see the differences showing in TV sitcoms and ads," Mirza later said on the sidelines. The actress-environmentalist, who was appointed the UNEP's Goodwill Ambassador for India last year, also shared that, whenever she has reached out for support to anyone in Bollywood film industry on the issue of plastic, "I have always received a very positive and overwhelming, yes."

Ben Schaare