New study: A cute rabbit helped to reduce cigarette littering with 56%

Nudging cigarette butts into ashtrays, Sysav

Photo: Andreas Offesson, Sysav

Tommorow is World Cleanup Day and, in Sweden, Håll Sverige Rent-dagen. On this worldwide day against littering, we are happy to announce the results from our cooperation with the waste management company Sysav, which operates in the Skåne region in southern Sweden. Together we built upon A Win Win World's previous work on cigarette littering in Gothenburg. We developed a nudge concept consisting of clearly visible ashtrays and ground paintings as well as a cute Nicotine Rabbit (which rhymes in Swedish) on a sign saying ”Please stub out in the ashtray. The Nicotine Rabbit is trying to quit smoking.”

The big takeaway from our pilot study in the cities of Lund, Ystad and Trelleborg is summed up by Ann Thorén,  project manager at Sysav:

– The results are very positive. The number of cigarette butts on the ground decreased by 56 percent during the six project weeks. This translates into approximately  1 100 cigarette butts being discarded in ashtrays instead of on the ground. 

Moreover, this difference between bus stops with the nudge concept installed and our control bus stops, where we only put up regular ashtrays, grew over time. It is thus clear that camouflaging ashtrays into their surroundings is a poor strategy – conversely, they should be made highly visible.

– Nudging is about making it easy to make a better choice. It is fantastic to see how small simple cost-effective nudges can give people a friendly push to better behavior and better environment, said Katharina Paoli, Managing Director at A Win Win World.

For more details, for images and for the project report, go to the case page:

The nudge concept was awarded the Most Effective prize in Nudge Awards 2018, a prestigious international competition.

The nudge concept, leading cigarette butts to ashtrays

Photo: Carina Eklund, Trelleborg Municipality

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