3 Creative Waste Management Ad Campaigns Attempting To Change Public Behaviour - WasteHero

3 Creative Waste Management Ad Campaigns Attempting To Change Public Behaviour

Changing public behaviour is difficult… really difficult. This can be helped through public policy that nudges people to perform the desired action. Want people to encourage safe driving? Fine people if they drive over the speed limit. Want to reduce smoking? Ban it in public areas and whack on a tax. Want people to recycle their plastic bottles? Introduce a paid recycling incentive.


But what happens to public behaviours when no one is watching? When there aren’t any looming speed cameras nor money to be made? In this blog, we’re highlighting three organisations aiming to affect awareness, attitudes, and behavioural change in waste and recycling through some pretty creative advertising campaigns.

Do you think the ads will push people to do the right thing when no one is watching? 

#1 Talk Dirty To Me

In Malmø, Sweden, the municipality introduced talking public bins that respond in a rather risqué manner when one deposits trash. Some of the phrases translate to:

“Come back quickly and do that again.”


“Ooh, yeah, right there.”


“Ahh, that was crazy good.”


“Hmm, more.”


“Little more to the left next time.”


The point of the talking bins is to encourage people to put their trash in the bin by providing a laugh as a reward. Check out the bins in action below (in Swedish – but you’ll certainly get the idea).

#2 New to Aarhus? Here’s what you need to know!


At the height of the moving season in Aarhus, Denmark, thousands of new students are moving in and out of the city. Kredsløb, the organisation that manages waste collection and recycling in the city of Aarhus, invites the public to learn more about the city they’ve just moved to… and perhaps a little about how to manage their bulky waste. Watch video below (in Danish).

#3 – Are disposable spoons socially acceptable?

Using humour and social norms to affect behaviour was the tactic taken by the European Commission in the Be Ready To Change campaign. Thinking about buying single-use plastic spoons? Think again! Watch the video below (in English).

Want to learn more about effective public campaigns? Check out campaignsthatwork.org for some great tips on campaigns that can help to reduce plastic pollution.

Looking to implement waste and recycling campaigns?

WasteHero’s software can help you to define benchmark values for recycling behaviour, enabling the ongoing analysis of citizens’ recycling performance. Contact us for more information.

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