Find out which film won the Dadasaheb Phalke International Film Festival Award for Zero Waste Film

Rarely does a film receive an award not for the script or the characters, but for its conscious environmental efforts. Chandigarh Kare Aashiqui (2015), a Bollywood film received the Dadasaheb Phalke International Film Festival Award for “Zero Waste Film”. It is now Bollywood’s first zero waste film. Before that, “Aisa Yeh Jahaan” (2015) was the first film to be carbon neutral in India.

Do film sets generate waste?

The film industry is resource driven. It works with resources, in one form or another. And it also generates a lot of waste. According to a study conducted by the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), in 2006 the American film and television industry created 15 million tons of carbon dioxide in 1999. However, this waste can be reduced and requires conscious effort.

The manufacture and processing of film impacts the environment through the use of electricity, fuel for travel and generators, plastic and other inorganic substances.

What are these wastes?

Waste generated in the motion picture industry can take the form of construction of sets, use of plastic products, moving of sets, transportation of people and props by air, road or sea, food waste, etc.

How can it be reduced?

As in the example of Chandigarh Kare Ashiqui, producer Pragya Kapoor focused on adopting sustainable waste management solutions, managing the waste generated and recycling it. Such measures can also be adopted by other film projects. Additionally, professional help can be sought through a company that specializes in sustainable waste management solutions.

The other option may be to use alternate options. For example, replacing plastic bottles with water dispensers could reduce single-use plastics. Additionally, making reusable or compostable cutlery can be another way to reduce waste.

The filmmakers also hired a special team to separate the waste into three categories of solid, liquid and PPE waste. These were thrown into color-coded bins to speed up the recycling process. The waste collected after the three months of filming was recycled into bricks, lamps and many usable products.

Decor material and props can be reused, donated or sold after use, which can also generate revenue. A similar thing was practiced by the directors of the film “Spider-Man”. They donated 2,000 leftover meals from their tray, reducing food waste.


Recognition of these films is a good starting point. However, more projects can follow suit and they too can help reduce the carbon footprint. Planting trees equivalent to the carbon footprints created, replacing plastic water bottles with filter water bottles, replacing light bulbs with solar-powered or LED lights, and many more such small steps can take us advance in the future. In addition, these small steps also reduce the costs of the film budget

Darcy J. Skinner