Hong Kong uses DNA on litter to identify and shame litterers

by Gareth Mankoo

In line with the overall theme of Earth Day, Ogilvy has cooked up a brilliant strategy to pull the brakes on littering in Hong Kong. This unique campaign that was heralded in with a video entitled ‘The Face of Litter’ has gone on to become quite a swansong for a number of litterbugs. Partnering in the cause are Hong Kong Cleanup, Ecozine and The Nature Conservancy.

Hong_Kong_clean_up_DNAThe key activity during the campaign was collecting DNA from litter, which included cigarette butts, paper cups and used condoms, analyzing the same using Snapshot DNA phentotyping to conjure up the faces of the litterers and shaming them by displaying them at public places.
Hong-Kong-garbageHong Kong produces a whopping 16,000 tons of litter per day. Last year’s Hong Kong Cleanup campaign lasted six weeks and collected 8,600,000 pounds of trash. Over 51,064 participants took part in the massive campaign that was more than just successful. Hopefully this public parading of wrongdoer faces will put a plug on where they dump their trash. We could do with something this across the globe!