Hong Kong Is Cleaning Up Its Streets By Exposing The Face Of Litter… Literally

In Hong Kong, one has to tiptoe, pirouette, and pole vault on the streets in order to avoid stepping on garbage.

Littering is a pandemic. And it needs to be eradicated.


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If only there was a way to find out who threw that cigarette butt on the pavement instead of the trash can located just a few meters away, right? Well, there is.

The Hong Kong Cleanup launched a campaign that was developed by worldwide PR giant Ogilvy and strategically launched on Earth Day. Labelled “The Face of Litter”, this initiative takes a very futuristic approach to the problem of littering.

Taking trash samples from the streets of targeted locations, Ogilvy analysed the discarded waste for DNA traces.


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Technicians used a process called DNA phenotyping — a forensic technique that’s usually used in murder investigations — to create a visual profile of the person who created that piece of trash.


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Put simply, littering is no longer an anonymous activity in Hong Kong.

The genetic data was combined with other factors such as the type of litter and where it was collected in order to make a more accurate assessment of the litterer’s profile.

The culprits’ faces were plastered on posters all around the city, their anonymity discarded in the trash. Social justice = SERVED.


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Lisa Christensen, founder and CEO of The Hong Kong Cleanup, said, “Sadly, we suffer from a serious ‘pick up after me’ mentality, and this simply must 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, CCO of Ogilvy & Mather Group.

Watch the entire amazing yet slightly disturbing video below:

Oh sweet, delicious revenge.