It’s quite a welcome to Tel Aviv – a giant billboard with a picture of Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah.
“I don’t recycle bottles,” reads the billboard installed Thursday near Tel Aviv’s La Guardia Interchange. Additional text says, “Nasrallah has been stuck in a bunker for 12 years, what’s your excuse? Recycle bottles!”
One might think the Lebanese Shi’ite terrorist leader is running in Israel’s upcoming elections. But no, it’s an ad campaign put out by the ELA Recycling Corporation, which aims to encourage Israeli citizens to recycle plastic bottles.
In addition to the billboard – several of which have been installed in Tel Aviv – the company has released a video and radio spots in which Nasrallah laments his inability to recycle.
“Let’s talk for a second about our shared future, Israel,” Nasrallah is imagined to be saying. “I haven’t recycled in 12 years, but what about you? What am I investing in tunnels for? If only I could leave my bunker to recycle bottles.”
ELA launched the ad campaign in response to a recent survey which found that while some 1.2 billion plastic bottles were collected in the past year, Israelis don’t actually recycle as many bottles as they think they do.
The survey, conducted by the Shiluv Research Institute, found 75% of respondents declaring they frequently recycle household plastic bottles. However, there appears to be a gap between their responses and actual recycling.
The goal of the campaign, ELA said, is to close that gap.
Nasrallah has been reportedly confined to a bunker in the Beirut suburb of Dahiyeh for more than a decade. His image is being used to exemplify someone who has a reason for not recycling, unlike everyday Israeli citizens who can find recycling bins on almost every street corner.
“The role of a recycling corporation is to act to change public habits in everything related to the environment and sustainability,” ELA chairwoman Nechama Ronen said in a statement to The Jerusalem Post
“Recycling bottles is simple and easy, [something] that each one of us can and should do,” the statement continued. “Even if it is just below their home, whether it’s out of laziness or simply lack of awareness,” it said, people generally don’t recycle.
A September report by Globes found that in the past five years, “The proportion of waste designated for recycling rose from 18% to 22%.” According to ELA data provided to the Post, there are some 23,000 recycling bins across the country.
So don’t worry if you see Nasrallah on a billboard, or hear him on the radio. Instead, just remember to reduce, reuse and recycle
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