Litterati (Global)

Litter is everywhere. Soda cans, plastic bags, and cigarette butts litter the environment, choke wildlife, and threaten our planet. Litterati is tackling this problem one piece of litter at a time. 

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The Goal

Building the Litterati community for a litter free world

Litterati is a global community that’s identifying, mapping, and collecting the world’s litter. Through the use of social media and the data collected from individuals picking up litter, we hope to find ways to work with brands, cities and government organizations to prevent litter from ever reaching the ground. We have already identified, mapped, and picked up 250,000+ pieces in 105 countries. And we’re just getting started. The more people who join our community, the more data we collect, the cleaner the planet becomes.



The Solution

Using the data to create change

We are building the world’s largest database of litter. The Litterati application identifies brands, geotags each piece, and allows anyone to join this growing community. Here are 2 examples:

  • Schools use Litterati as a citizen-science tool. In one 5th grade class, the students used Litterati to identify their school’s most common type of litter — plastic straw wrappers from the cafeteria. So they approached the principal and asked why the school was still buying individually wrapped straws. And they stopped. Simple and effective.

  • The City of San Francisco used Litterati data to understand what percent of their litter came from cigarettes. That data was used to uphold a $0.20 tax on cigarette sales, thereby creating a significant revenue stream for the city to help clean its streets.



The Results

From the 2 examples above:

  • Schools – The students picked up 1247 pieces of litter on their schoolyard. And because the data showed them the true nature of the problem, they were able to make a positive change, such as using reusable water bottles instead of plastic straws.

  • City of San Francisco – we picked up 5000 pieces of litter around the city, provided them with the required data, and generated a great revenue stream that will help keep San Francisco litter-free.



Insider Tip

  • No matter how big your vision, start simple.

  • When possible, create a tangible “feedback loop”. The more people see the impact of their actions, the more likely they are to continue to act.




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