The artful use of packaging waste to create high-impact campaign for Greenpeace Africa

As consumerism extends across Africa so too does the problem of waste. To tackle this issue by means of education and awareness Namibia-based ad agency Advantage Y&R and Greenpeace Africa commissioned local artists Petrus Shiimi and Saima Iita to create these hauntingly beautiful artworks. They created African masks made from bits of rubbish, which included empty plastic containers, wires, packaging and plastic bags. The masks were held by Nambian children and photographed against a rich black background giving them indelible potency. Each image houses the caption ‘Trash shouldn’t define our culture.’

The creative director, Toufic Beyhum explains the campaign was created to link the growing crisis with the continent’s most precious people and the detrimental effect on its future generations.

Launched with an exhibition of the photographs at a Namibian gallery, the campaign has been displayed in posters, publications and presentations. Greenpeace Africa will continue to share it throughout the continent to promote the message and hopefully bring some significant change in behaviour regarding waste and recycling.

I think this is a hugely powerful campaign that stands to remind us of the extent of this crisis which not only affects Africa but the rest of the world too.

As packaging designers, we can be more proactive in changing attitudes towards waste and recycling. In our next blog, we take a look at some of the companies and designers who are creating innovative solutions for this ongoing problem.

If you would like to discuss ways to reduce or improve your packaging visit us at or give us a call on 02 9519 9991.