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Innovating for change

We can change behaviour when it comes to littering


Three new approaches to tackling littering and dog fouling, developed by Keep Britain Tidy’s award-winning Centre for Social Innovation, will be tested in the coming months thanks to funding from the Government’s Litter Innovation Fund.

The new innovations are:

Playing Field Scoreboards - this intervention will target dog-fouling that occurs specifically on playing fields used by children and sports clubs. Playing Field Scoreboard uses innovative signage and social norm theory to encourage dog-walkers who use playing fields to walk their dogs to do the right thing.

Night Time Nudges - this intervention will target night time economy litter such as alcohol-related drinks litter and fast food packaging litter, which is typically littered in town centres in the evening or at night, by groups of people drinking and socialising. Night Time Nudges uses nudge theory to make correctly disposing of litter fun, attractive and easy to do.

Bin Removal - this intervention will target litter in parks. Bin Removal will robustly monitor the impact of removing bins on litter rates. The intervention will also address a clear need in the litter and waste sector globally by providing robust evidence on the impacts of litter bin removal, in which there is much interest. The evidence will support local land managers in their waste management planning and in their communications to the public.

In addition, thanks to the fund, we will also test a new communications campaign, How does it reflect on you?, that will, literally, ask those who are littering to take a long, hard look at themselves in the mirror.

All interventions will be robustly monitored using a mixed methods approach. Where successful, interventions will be scaled up nationally through Keep Britain Tidy’s extensive networks to create further impact.

In 2015, Keep Britain Tidy launched the Centre for Social Innovation becoming the first UK charity to take a systematic approach to applying behavioural insights to tackle litter and waste issues. Our approach uses these insights to develop, pilot and scale innovative behaviour-change interventions.

We are part of a growing global movement of policy-makers, academics and practitioners looking at the application of behavioural insights to encourage pro-social and environmental behaviour.

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