Billboard advertising has long been a powerful marketing tool, with its large, eye-catching displays in high-traffic areas effectively raising awareness for countless brands and campaigns.

However, as we appreciate the efficacy of this strategy in our marketing communication plan at MTN Uganda, we also recognize the importance of responsible disposal of billboard materials for the sake of the environment and safety.

Martin Sebuliba, the Senior Manager of Brand and Communications at MTN Uganda, sheds light on a pressing issue – the environmental impact of discarded billboard skins. These skins, typically made of non-biodegradable vinyl, can pose a threat to the environment if not managed properly.

With approximately 69 billboard sites across the country and more than 200,000 square meters of billboard skins used for every campaign, the scale of the issue becomes evident. Each year, about 800,000 square meters of billboard skins are used, underscoring the need for responsible disposal.

In response to this challenge, MTN Uganda has taken an innovative and socially responsible approach to address the environmental concerns associated with billboard skins.

“Instead of discarding them, we donate these decommissioned skins to organizations that repurpose them into tents for refugees in various camps across Uganda,” Sebuliba says.

 One such partner in this endeavor is “Every Shelter,” a recycling company that specializes in transforming billboard material into practical, life-saving shelters.

Uganda is home to one of the largest populations of refugees in the world, and many of them face humanitarian crises and a dire need for shelter. By working in collaboration with Every Shelter, MTN Uganda is not only finding a meaningful and environmentally friendly way to dispose of billboard skins but is also making a positive impact on the lives of those in need.

The repurposed skins provide essential shelter for refugees and communities facing challenging circumstances, ensuring they have a safe place to call home. By repurposing the billboard skins, they are given a chance to age and hence biodegrade faster once they are disposed of, causing way less harm to the environment compared to traditional disposal methods.

Since the inception of this initiative, MTN Uganda has already collected over 1,500 square meters of billboard skins, with more skins in waiting. The organization is committed to delivering these materials to the deserving recipients as part of the pilot phase.

“By embracing this innovative strategy, we not only safeguard our environment but also contribute to the welfare of communities in need. Such initiatives align with MTN’s broader Ambition 2025 objectives, reflecting our commitment to creating positive change and leaving a lasting impact on the world,” Sebuliba says.

The repurposing of billboard material by MTN Uganda goes to show responsible disposal can be transformed into a force for good. This initiative not only safeguards the environment but also extends a helping hand to communities, in this case, refugees in distress. It is a testament to the power of creativity and compassion, showcasing how businesses can drive positive change by repurposing their resources for the betterment of society.

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