Just In Time for #CyberMonday: Mr. Bill Posters Brandishes “Waste World” in UK

To coincide with #CyberMonday we’re bringing you the satiric stylings of Billboard takeover artist Bill Posters in Manchester, England.

Bill Posters. “Waste World” (photo still from the video)

His newest ‘Waste World’ billboard and video (below) chides our blithe consumerism and the colonialist practice of dumping our waste and “recycling” on poor people in other countries – so they can sift through our lifestyles and possibly become poisoned by the toxic materials inside discarded electronics.

Installed last Friday, or as advertisers are training the population to say, “Black Friday”, Mr. Posters tells us that he was thinking of better activities to do rather than get stampeded by TV addicts in a big box store.

Bill Posters. “Waste World” (photo still from the video)

“We should probably be paying more attention to where the majority of our ‘recycled’ waste actually ends up,” he says. “In low-income countries, 93% of global waste is dumped due to inadequate urban provisions. Western countries can’t process their own waste, instead – they sell it to other low-income countries in Asia and Africa.”

It’s true, we don’t see photos of people sitting and sifting on mountains of trash when we’re chasing bargains. That’s why Mr. Posters says he wants to create a campaign that commandeers advertising space to show “the profound social and environmental impacts of consumer waste in countries and communities hidden from view”.

Bill Posters. “Waste World” (photo still from the video)

Done in concert with Brandalism and other individual artists around the world who stripped ads from bus stops, phone kiosks, and billboards on Saturday for NO AD Day, the new billboard features a collage of people celebrating the fabulous products rich people can buy amidst an ocean of consumer detritus. With new installations that take aim at at brands including Nike, Pretty Little Thing, Apple and Gucci, the artists says he is also inspired by the latest issue of the magazine New Internationalist’s which talks about our garbage stream in a scintillating piece called “Modern Life is Rubbish”.

A bit of an exaggeration, right?

“Over 15 million people around the globe – the majority women and children, earn their living as waste pickers, literally sifting through westerners waste to earn a living,” he says.

Bill Posters. “Waste World” (photo still from the video)