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New campaign uses DNA to shame litterbugs

By Barry Eitel on Apr 27, 2015

To celebrate Earth Day last Wednesday, a new campaign launched in Hong Kong that publicly shames litterers by using their DNA. Created by the agency Ogilvy & Mather Group Hong Kong, the concept behind the bold campaign was to put a face to litterbugs, usually thought of as a “victimless” crime. A staggering 16,000 tons of waste is dumped in the Chinese city every day. To garner awareness, Ecozine and The Nature Conservancy joined Ogilvy in creating the science-focused campaign, entitled “The Face of Litter,” to publicize the Hong Kong Cleanup Initiative. DNA collected from litter found in the city is used to create a rough portrait of the probable litterer. Since not all information is available via DNA (such as age), data including where the litter was found is used in creating the profil