Put a Face to Litter

Every day in Hong Kong, more than 16,000 tons of waste is dumped in the streets and public spaces. PHOTO: hkcleanup.org

Every day in Hong Kong, more than 16,000 tons of waste is dumped in the streets and public spaces. PHOTO: hkcleanup.org

Going by Hong Kong’s Cleanup Challenge, your DNA can rat you out the next time you toss as little as a candy wrapper on the beach or in the park. The country is taking its trash problem seriously, with an entire week in June dedicated to cleaning urban spaces and its coastline. In fact it generates 6 million tonnes of trash a year – the weight of 350 blue whales. Clearly, this is not sustainable. And that’s precisely why one of the country’s NGOs and the advertising firm Ogilvy & Mather came up with the Face of Litter campaign.

Well, the problem of waste management has been addressed many a time over. See here and here. But the idea to publicly hold litterers responsible definitely warrants attention. The stakeholders came up with the idea to shame litterers and enlisted a laboratory to analyze samples.  They came from a six-week challenge in which teams collected more than 4,000 tons of litter from streets. The rest of the story belongs to Parabon Nanolabs.

Now before you toss that cigarette butt onto the curb, know that you are leaving behind much more. Actions have a way of catching up to you, they say.

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