Monday, August 8, 2011

Target goes "green" with their commercials

The Star-Tribune reports that Target is striving to "go green" with the production of their television commercials.

At Target's Halloween commercial shoot this past June in Minneapolis, plastic pumpkins, artificial fall leaves, plastic gravestones and red, stainless steel Target-logo-embossed water bottles set the scene for a spooky and environmentally friendly event. The water bottles are part of the Minneapolis-based retailer's partnership with EcoSet, a North Hollywood-based company that helps with waste management and recycling during film productions. It sets up compost and recycling stations, and even a bin to recycle electronic waste such as batteries, film and CDs.

Commercial shoots have the potential to be particularly wasteful. Everything is temporary, built for that particular commercial with little to no shelf life afterward. A typical commercial shoot generates nearly 1,000 pounds of waste, the same an average person generates in a year, according to EcoSet.

Since 2009, Target and EcoSet have partnered to divert 56 tons of waste in 53 commercial shoots worldwide from Los Angeles to Minneapolis to Italy and the Caribbean. More than 40,000 plastic water bottles have not been used due EcoSet's stainless steel bottles, and EcoSet works with everyone from the production crew to the creative department to the caterers to gain a sense of what can be repurposed and what can be diverted. Food is typically 50 percent of waste on a commercial shoot, so EcoSet's compost bin is a one-stop shop for uneaten food and paper plates. Film props such as wood, paint, set walls and wardrobe are taken to the Target warehouse for future shoots.

"Eighty percent is either donated, recycled, composted or repurposed," said Megan Dobratz, environmental consultant for EcoSet. "Someone needs to be in charge of doing this, and we're able to take the burden off other people."

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