Anti-literring campaigns

I wanted to have a look at different anti-littering campaigns from magazine ads, billboard posters TV ads and other creative ideas that have risen through out recent years.

I will be looking at a range of very creative anti-littering campaigns I came across through my research. Most of these campaigns take an unusual approach to clear the streets of cigarette butts, plastic waste and other used products that belong in the trash or in a recycling bin.

Cigg Seeds

City-Beautifying Cigarettes

Discarded cigarette butts are a big problem in any environment. ‘Cigg Seeds’ proposes to create a solution to this by making the discarded cigarette butts contribute to outdoor spaces. In order to do so the cigarette filters are biodegradable and embedded with wildflower seeds, so that when they are dropped on the ground they will grow flowers. This idea may not be practical or populated urban areas with out green spaces but it would still be beneficial for parks and other grassy areas in cities.


Garbage Toilet Paper

The Tetra Pak print campaign is an interesting look at recyclable materials in their raw state. Advertising agency Provid from Kiev in the Ukraine put together these ads for Tetra Pak to illustrate to consumers the need for correct recycling.

The tag line reads, “Without recycling garbage remains garbage. Tetra Pak packages is 100% recyclable and is used for producing paper. Separate your waste for further recycling.”

Incentivized Recycling Machines

The use of incentivized recycling machines such as the Envirobank,  is a recycling machine that encourages people to feed it used plastics in exchange for the chance to win bus trips and movie tickets.

By giving you a further incentive to recycle it should increase recycling rates across cities. The machines where installed across Sydney in two locations and within the first three days over 10,000 plastics were collected. A machine like the Envirobank would great to have in big events, concerts, malls and other open public spaces to encourage the public to clean up and recycle after themselves.

Ashtray-Planter Hybrids

Ashtray-Planter Hybrids

The design by Mademoiselle Jean-Claude, called Cindy is an ashtray and planter in one. It turns collected cigarette butts into fertilizer for the plants. A special tray allows the remaining ash to fall through and fetilize the soil leaving the cigarette butts on a removable tray ready to be thrown out.

Garbage Giveaway Ads

Garbage Giveaway Ads

The posters produced by Dublin City council try to address the littering problem by reminding people to bin their litter. The posters ready out ‘Free Second Hand’ trash using images of used gum, smoked cigarettes and empty fast food wrappers. It is followed by the tag line, “Nobody wants your litter. Bin it”

This kind of marketing serves as a reminder to the public on the way they should behave with a certain level of respect for their fellow man/woman. It is a subtle form of public shaming into better behaviour

Can Currency Campaigns

McDonald’s in Stockholm has created an interactive recycling initiative through the DDB Stockholm advertising agency. By collecting discarded cans customers can fill up a bag with a specified amount to get free burgers. For each ten recycled cans you can get a cheeseburger or hamburger, with 40 cans you can get a Big Mac. The recycling bags are strategically placed in areas where young people are likely to congregate.

The campaign appeals to cash-poor youth to help deal with summer-specific garbage after festivals and outdoor parks become popular.

Canned Garbage Ads

The campaign by OndAzul NGO tries to bring light to the amount of garbage found in the ocean. The tag line reads “Is it what you expect to find in the sea? Neither do the fishes.” The campaign “appeals to peoples sense of justice and weak stomachs.” Helping to deter people from throwing garbage into the ocean.

Dying Electronic Ads

Dying Electronic Ads

With new technology being continuously being pumped out, people keep tossing out their old stuff. Old cell phones, computers, televisions being constantly replaced by the newer versions. The Homestead India Real Estate ad encourages people to rethink their E-waste and doing the right thing for themselves and the environment as the burning of these devices is highly hazardous and causes air pollution.


Sassy Anti-Littering Campaigns

Live Green Toronto

The anti-littering campaign by Live Green Toronto has an interesting approach by striking a chord to those who care about their self-image. Rather than focusing on the unethical, harmful effects of littering on our environment, the campaign plays with the fear of social judgement.

The slogan “Littering says a lot about you.” is used in company of messages being spelled out in the litter itself.







Surfrider Ads

These ads by the Surfrider Foundation shows how the garbage in the ocean ends up coming back around in to the food we consume. Showing the process of the food chain how the thrash consumed by fish which is then eaten by people.

I like how the ad is illustrated to show in a playful manner the problem. The other set of ads take a different approach but they are also entertaining to see images of people holding their trophy catches being replaced by litter. These images really hit home the message of the direct correlation between rubbish in the oceans and how they are not fit for either human or animal consumption.

PET Recycling 

This ad campaign by PET Recycling shows in a straight forward approach that being responsible citizens and recycling, we are helping the environment. The products that can now be made from using recycled plastic is plentiful. The campaign is trying to prove that ‘Every bottle counts’ as its tagline states.

Even though this campaign is not telling us anything we don’t already know, it’s emphasising the importance of recycling and reminding us that we can benefit from it too.

Gargantuan Garbage Campaigns

Vive Barranquilla Limpia ads

Created by Sonovista advertising the ads tagline reads: “There is no small garbage. Use trash cans.” accompanied by images of small pieces of litter made to look like they’re gigantic over their surroundings the campaign attempts to promote greener living. People tend to believe that small items of litter won’t make a difference to the environment, I my self have been guilty of this in the past. These ads help to illustrate the importance of how every piece of litter can make a significant difference.

‘Implications – With so many different harms being done to the planet every day, consumers are looking for ways to protect it as best as they can. Products that promote a greener lifestyle attract shoppers who want to decrease their carbon footprint. In order to increase their revenue, a company could come out with more environmentally sustainable items.

Glad Tents

This is a great idea developed for festival goers, as festivals tend to become severely littered during the course of a weekend. Glad Tents have designed garbage bag tents that double as heavy-duty trash bags so when you are done enjoying your time at the festival you don’t have an excuse to leave your mess behind.

I think this is a great idea as it saves the trouble of carrying a tent around and is also a great way to be more environmentally friendly.

One Beach

Using over 18,000 pieces of garbage, the ‘One Beach’ mosaic is sending the message that litter belong s in the garbage and not the beach. The billboard is part of a promotion for the film One Beach by director Jason Baffa, a documentary featuring a series of eco-friendly artist promoting clean beaches through their work.

Refurbished Recycled Ads

French NGO Ecofolio and Zim & Zou have shown pedestrians the benefist of recycled advertising by creating a bus shelter poster made from newspaper scrapes. Pedestrians placed old newspapers into a box at a bus shelter billboard and within days the team took those scraps and turned them into a sculpture of a phoenix.

Allowing people to see the rapid transformation, the project was designed to show people the benefits of recycling and how new and useful objects can come from recycling. This is a good way of getting the community to interact with their surrounding environment and witness the improvements that can be made.

Coca-Cola’s Happiness Arcade game

The point of Coca-Cola’s arcade game is to make recycling more fun. The recycling encourages people to recycle by creating a fun interactive experience. While it might not be a sustainable solution to littering or waste, it is an effective way of raising awareness to such issues.


Laura McQuarrie. (2014). 29 Creative Anti-Littering Campaigns.Available: Last accessed 27th Jan 2016.


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