Privacy Policy

Our Mission

Litterati is designed to empower people to clean the planet. Through our iOS & Android applications, individuals can photograph, categorize, and map litter around the world. The data collected by individuals is aggregated to form a Global Database of Litter.

Here’s how it works:

  1. Opt in to use the Litterati platform. (By opting in you’re allowing the litter data you collect to be used towards creating a litter-free world. We’ll explain how we’re using that data below.)
  2. Register for the Litterati mobile application via email or Facebook Login.
  3. Once you’ve created an account, photograph a piece of litter and dispose of it correctly, either in a general purpose trash can or recycle bin when available.
  4. Add descriptive tags to the photo. We provide a default library of the most commonly found items but you can add any tag you wish.
  5. Photos are automatically geotagged (so long as your phone’s Location Services are “on”).
  6. Photos are automatically uploaded into the Litterati Global Database of Litter.

Who can participate?

Users of the Litterati mobile application and technology must be 13 years or older.

What data are we collecting?

Our objective is to be completely transparent around our privacy and data policies. Here’s a detailed summary of what data we collect, how it’s stored, how we might use it, and your rights.

User Data

Photos

How are we storing data?

We use an encrypted database that is hidden behind Amazon Web Services’ Virtual Private Cloud (AWS US-West-1 Northern California), which contains multiple layers of encryption. Furthermore, because we use an Amazon Web Services S3 bucket, there is granular delete capability; meaning that we can delete or anonymize any individual’s data upon request.

How might we use that data?

We believe that the best way to solve the global litter problem, is to first understand it. Here are several examples of how we have already used Litterati data to make an impact.

Cities:

We shared data collected by the Litterati community with the city of San Francisco to help them understand what percentage of the city’s litter came from cigarettes. That data was then used to generate nearly $4M in tax revenue; money which went to helping the San Francisco clean itself up.

In Purmerend, Netherlands, officials celebrated the recent start of a building project with plastic confetti. After the festivities, thousands of pieces of hard-to-collect plastic debris were left scattered across the city streets. One of our most active community members, conducted an assessment of the confetti using Litterati, in which he demonstrated the impact of plastic confetti on a map while also bringing significant attention to the matter via social media. Only days after the celebration and subsequent research, the college board became much more aware of the impact that plastic confetti had on the local surroundings. They formally decided to ban plastic confetti from official events, a decision covered by the local press. The city board is also discussing what measures to take in the future to maintain a cleaner city.

Brands:

Litterati data showed that on a particular block in Oakland, the majority of litter came from Taco Bell. Even more telling was that the majority of Taco Bell’s litter were their own single-use plastic hot sauce packets, many of which were unopened.

Schools:

In Modesto, California, an elementary school used Litterati to pick up and identify 1247 pieces of litter on their school yard. The data indicated that the most common type of litter were the plastic straw wrappers from their own cafeteria. Armed with that information, the school stopped buying straws. Simple and effective.

NGOs:

There may be occasions where we share data with non-governmental organizations or non-profits. For example, in 2016 and 2017, we collaborated with 5Gyres to provide them with data identifying brands found in the US. This information was used, in collaboration with many other organizations, to create the BAN list.

An Email Newsletter:

Occasionally we will send you updates on our progress, new product features, partnerships, and things we’re generally excited about. Of course you may opt-out at any time.

What data rights do you have?

How do you exercise your data rights?

Send an email to support@litterati.org with the subject line “DATA RIGHTS” and let us know if you’d like your personal information deleted. We’ll ensure your requests are met and completed within the required 30 days.

Roadmap for the Future.

We recognize that Litterati must be translated for our community around the world. Given our current limited resources, we’ve launched the application and website in English. We will prioritize those languages which the majority of our community speaks; therefore French, Spanish, German, and Dutch will be next.