When we think about waste generation no one sector or industry is not responsible for generating it. Often it might be industry’s we least expect from. One such industry that is responsible for high amounts of waste generation is the film-making industry. Taking into consideration Bollywood and Hollywood alone, they produce about 2000 films annually. 

Film sets generate tons of waste with the construction of sets, cutleries and bottles for the cast and crew, daily food wastage, etc. it is high time that film productions switch lanes to more sustainable and eco-friendly shoots. 

This first of a kind effort has been made by Bollywood producer Pragya Kapoor in her latest production, Chandigarh Kare Aashiqui. Chandigarh Kare Aashiqui is India’s first zero-waste film. This Ayushmann Khurrana and Vaani Kapoor starrer romantic drama is turning heads for several reasons. 

Firstly, the movie is grabbing attention for dabbling into the sensitive topic of portraying the story of a transgender character. 

Chandigarh Kare Aashiqui- a zero-waste film
Chandigarh Kare Aashiqui- Producer Pragya Kapoor

A Zero-Waste Film: 

Apart from that one valiant effort of the film was to shoot the entire film with a zero-waste policy. This is the first time for any Bollywood production to be adopting this practice. 

The producer of the film got in touch with Skrap. Skrap is an environmental sustainability firm that helps businesses and brands adopt sustainable practices and zero waste solutions. In collaboration, the teams were able to pull off this stint. 

An entire team was designated to look after this initiative. Initially, volunteers made people aware of how to go about reducing waste and ensure the practices were followed. After some time all the cast and crew seamlessly eased into the process.

Steps to achieve the Zero-Waste Film goal:

1. Replacing plastic bottles:

The film claims to have avoided the use of almost 1000 plastic bottles daily. All it took was simply replacing the plastic bottles with providing reusable water bottles for the crew members and installing a water dispenser. 

2. Giving away leftover food:

Instead of throwing away the excess food, they gave it away to low-income families and the needy in the nearby community. The Skrap team in association with NGOs like Robinhood Army and Feeding Indian conducted these food distribution drives feeding thousands of families. 

3. Using sustainable essentials:

Efforts were made to replace the general essentials and toiletry products. 

Actor Vani Kapoor said, “We used shampoo, big bottles of conditioner, bamboo toothbrushes instead of small packs during the shoot; with this, we have been able to reduce a large amount of plastic waste.”

4. Colour coded waste-segregation:

The film sets had colour-coded dustbins all around. All the waste was first segregated into 3 categories- solid, liquid and PPE. Volunteers ensured to educate the cast and crew to segregate the waste respectively. At the end of the shoot, this waste was further sent for upcycling or recycling. 

colour coded dustbins for zero-waste film
Colour coded dustbins

5. Final waste-segregation: 

They hired a few people exclusively to look after waste management. Once the shoot was complete few people segregated all the waste to be taken to either upcycling or recycling. 

6. Recycling or upcycling the waste:

All the waste had been collected but the final step was of utmost importance. Most of the waste was recycled, composted or donated. All the food scraps, plates and cutleries were sent to biogas plants for composting. Paper, plastic or cardboard was sent for recycling. The efforts got more appreciation when they could see their waste being turned into eco-bricks and lamps

Appreciation & accolades: 

Pragya Kapoor has been contributing to the environment for a long time now. The model, actress and producer is always advocating sustainability, parenting and clean eating. She is well known for her cleanup drives across Mumbai and getting celebrities involved with her on these endeavours. 

About the initiative, Pragya Kapoor said, “A film shoot produces a bizarre amount of waste and as an environmentalist, it’s important for me to cover as many grounds as possible with my work. I can’t be contributing to other areas of concern while turning a blind eye to the ecological harms caused by the making of a film. With Chandigarh Kare Aashiqui, I was fortunate enough to have the support of my entire team to make this possible.” 

By making extra efforts and engaging rules and disciplines the entire team was able to save 17000 kgs of waste from entering into landfills. The efforts were lauded by various members of the film fraternity and government officials like the BMC in its tweet wrote,  “Congrats to the team of #ChandigarhKareAashiqui on having a ‘zero-waste’ set. Producer @pragyakapoor_ in collab with @SkrapHQ, were successful in their initiative – all it takes is a bit of effort!” 

We hope that more producers, directors and actors take notice of this initiative and adopt these practices in their future projects.  

Read more about such sustainability efforts:

Suscin – Promoting Sustainability

Leave a Reply