City Success Stories Using Litterati Data

How Dutch NGO, GoClean is Creating Awareness around Cigarette Butt Litter

How Dutch NGO, GoClean is Creating Awareness around Cigarette Butt Litter

 CONTEXT

In the Netherlands, litter pickers often do not pick up cigarette butts, because there are too many to pick up, so it is too much work. 

Current laws are not sufficient to contribute to a reduction of cigarette filters in nature and on the streets.

The GoClean team set out with two line items on their agenda

  • Highlight the magnitude of cigarette butt litter in the Netherlands and the demand for legislation to get a reduction of cigarette butts in litter. In the meantime, the tobacco industry should contribute in the cleaning costs of the butts.
  • Create awareness among smokers about the presence of “cellulose acetate” — the plastic material found in cigarette filters.

 

CHALLENGE

How can you educate a community about the reality of a commodity they are used to seeing everywhere?

 

LITTERATI SOLUTION

On June 10th 2021, the GoClean team launched their annual cigarette butt challenge called the “Plastic PeukMeuk 2021. The 30-day challenge ended on the 10th of July, the data collected presented to the media and on social media which gained a lot of attention.

Here’s a summary of collection: 

Week 1: 60,000 butts by 122 volunteers

Week 2: 50,000 butts by 120 volunteers

Week 3: 50,000 butts by 110 volunteers

At the end of the challenge on the 10th of July, an amount of 225.000 butts were collected.

The challenge will contribute to an extensive citizen science study, in which 100 volunteers monitor carefully selected locations of 100m2 for 6 weeks in a row. They register the amount and degree of pollution of cigarette butts. A total of 200 locations are monitored, including wells. In this study Litterati is also used for the registration of the butts.

With the Litterati data which is analyzed in the Littercompass a report will be made. This report will provide input for the elaboration of the Single Use Plastic Directive. This in relation to the amount of money which the tobacco industry has to contribute annually in the Netherlands, to the costs of cleaning up the waste of their products.

CONCLUSION

The challenge and research have an ambitious goal of putting the cigarette butt litter on the political agenda.

Last year we started with our first cigarette butt action, and that report was sent the report to the House of Representatives in the Netherlands, where it was received in a commission on circular economy, where cigarette butts are now an item on their agenda. Questions were asked by politicians in the committee to the State Secretary of Infrastructure and Water Management. It is the start of a journey on getting the politicians to realize the size of this huge problem.” says Jan Daamen, GoClean Volunteer & Litterati Community Member. 

Check out GoClean’s Cigarette Butt Study Report from 2020.

How San Francisco Uses Litterati Data to Successfully Defend Multi-Million Annual Tobacco Tax in Court

How San Francisco Uses Litterati Data to Successfully Defend Multi-Million Annual Tobacco Tax in Court

CONTEXT

Discarded cigarette butts require significant city resources to clean up from sidewalks, parks, and waterways. San Francisco city officials decided to act—and believed that Big Tobacco should be held to greater Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR).

CHALLENGE

How do you identify what percent of litter comes from cigarettes and determine a reasonable estimate of the cost the city incurs to clean them up?

LITTERATI SOLUTION

Over a 5-day period, Litterati mapped and tagged nearly 5,000 pieces of litter across 32 key areas to gather unbiased data to show exactly how much of the city’s litter was generated by discarded cigarette butts.

CONCLUSION

Based on the data, the court not only ruled in favor of the new cigarette sales tax that the tobacco industry had legally contested, they actually ruled to double the size of the initial tax.

This money was then allocated to help clean the streets and increase consumer awareness about the impact cigarette butts have across the city and in the nearby Bay.

Dockers® Employee Engagement Program Activates Team Members In 15 Office Locations

Dockers® Employee Engagement Program Activates Team Members In 15 Office Locations

Measuring the impact of corporate social responsibility.

CONTEXT

Dockers® prides itself on their sustainable clothing initiatives and bringing their ethical values to life in ever increasing ways. In 2019, they created a campaign to highlight initiatives & individuals who were creating change in their local communities.

CHALLENGE

How do you as a company find new and innovative ways to “walk your talk”? 

LITTERATI SOLUTION

The brand launched an employee engagement program with Litterati – a competition motivating employees to create an impact in their local community. In just a couple weeks, employees from 15 office locations banded together to pick up over 23,000 pieces of litter.

CONCLUSION

“Innovation has always been a huge part of the Dockers® brand,” said Lauren Johnson, Senior Director of Dockers® Global Marketing.

Dockers ran a campaign that reflected their values back to their employees and the world as a whole & inspired their team to take action to live and act in more sustainable ways.

The entire company got together, to create an impact.

Anta-flu Changes Wrappers & Packaging From Plastic to Paper

Anta-flu Changes Wrappers & Packaging From Plastic to Paper

CONTEXT

Individuals around the Netherlands noticed an increasing number of Anta-Flu’s plastic cough drop wrappers littered in their communities. A couple of dedicated individuals sought to harness the power of data to drive change to reduce plastic waste in the environment. 

CHALLENGE

How can you collect enough data to inspire a systemic change?

LITTERATI SOLUTION

In 2019, Dirk Groot (Zwerfinator) and Merjin Tinga (Plastic Soup Surfer) encouraged the Netherlands’ Litterati community members to help collect & tag data on these pieces of plastic litter from Anta-Flu wrappers. 

Equipped with over 30,000 data points on a map that spread across the Netherlands and other European countries, Dirk and Merjin were able to effectively show how Anta-flu’s packaging decisions impacted the environment when they met with the CEO of Pervasco (creator of Anta-flu) at company headquarters in Rotterdam, Netherlands.

CONCLUSION

Inspired by the data and the passion of the community, Pervasco’s CEO committed to changing the packaging from plastic to paper.

He was quoted saying:

“Antaflu has been around for longer than plastic, so we knew that an alternative should be possible,”

You can watch the video of their journey here

On 18th June 2020, paper wrappers of Anta-Flu hit the stores.

On 18th June 2020, we saw the new paper packaging hit the stores.

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