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This is How Hong Kong Plans to Shame its Litterbugs


For all those who think they can get away with quietly dropping that discarded gum wrapper or empty crisp packet on the street because nobody will know you’ve done it, beware. There’s a chance a huge poster with your face on it could end up all over the city, shaming, if not naming, you.

A new campaign called ‘The Face of Litter’ has been launched in Hong Kong as a scientific prescription for the ‘epidemic’ of littering. Instead of going the usual route of simply warning people not to litter on pain of penalty, the cleanliness drive will use DNA phenotyping to help put a face to litterbugs. A cautionary tale like no other.

The campaign, launched on Earth Day, will target key locations in Hong Kong to create a visual representation of the person who litters using their DNA data. These posters of said litterbugs will then be put up across the city and online, not only to shame the culprit but also to create awareness among other would-be litterers.

“This campaign is one of a kind. It’s interactive. It’s innovative. It’s our own science experiment that we’re using to create social change. Litter is such a major problem in Hong Kong and thanks to technology we can now put a face to this anonymous crime and get people to think twice about littering,” said Reed Collins, Chief Creative Officer Ogilvy & Mather Group Hong Kong, responsible for developing the campaign.

We’ll be waiting with bated breath to see how effective this terrifying yet exciting campaign turns out to be.

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