The innovative voting ashtray designed to address the issue of cigarette butt litter in the UK, by leading UK behavior change charity Hubbub, has gone global as councils, governments, and brands around the world, are making orders for Ballot Bin.
Littering cost the tax-payer as much as £850 million in clean up costs each year. A report from the Communities and Local Government (CLG) Committee found that chewing gum and cigarettes were found to be the most littered items, while fast-food litter increased by 20% in the last year.
First featured in the Neat Streets campaign run by environmental charity Hubbub, it aims to jolt people out of their normal littering routine by asking fun questions that smokers have an opinion on. The voting ballot bins went viral last year and took social media by storm with the burning question ‘Who’s the best footballer in the world? Ronaldo or Messi’.
By popular demand, Hubbub is launching a website www.ballotbins.co.uk where ballot bins are now for sale – councils, brands and leisure facilities have made orders and ballot bins will be shipped to France, Spain, US, Japan. Leading brand BMW have also ordered the voting ballot bins.
The Ballot Bin is a bespoke ashtray that aims to tackle the issue of cigarette butt litter. A voting system encourages use of the ashtray, allowing the user to vote by choosing one of two slots to dispose of their cigarette butt. Each slot has a window to display the used butts, allowing a public opinion poll to be generated.
The bins and questions asked are customisable; they can take any colour and the questions can be tailored to the interests of local people in the area. Cities around the world are asking topical questions to engage local smokers – from ‘Who will win the premier league – Leicester City or Tottenham?’, to ‘Who will be the next US President – Hilary Clinton or Donald Trump?’ to ‘Brexit – In or Out?’.
Other countries that have shown interest in replicating the Ballot Bin campaign and installing the ballot bins are South Korea, Canada, Belgium, USA, France, Tokyo, Switzerland, Spain, Denmark, Netherlands, Indonesia, Germany and Italy.
Trewin Restorick, CEO/Founder of Hubbub comments: “The voting bin is a simple solution that has provoked an incredibly positive response. We’ve had requests from around the world for the bin with many countries wondering how they can change the questions to reflect their country’s culture and interests. So we have taken the plunge and are now scaling up production so that we can sell the bins to tackle the issue of litter in a fun and engaging way.”
The idea of the Ballot Bins is based on the best methods and research findings on how to stop cigarette littering. Hubbub found that litter was mainly generated at night by young men and that cigarette butts are the biggest litter issue in the UK. 35,2% of smokers litter, followed by 26% of people eating chewing gum. The voting bin was a response to these research findings and the sport focused questions reflect the interests of the audience they are trying to reach.
Observational research showed that 29% of correct disposals corresponded to people using the voting bin whilst it was in on the street.
None of the collected cigarette butts will go to landfill. As part of the campaign, Hubbub is developing an innovative partnership with TerraCycle who recycle cigarette butts into a variety of useful plastic products, such as plastic lumber and boards that can be used for items like construction holding, signage and table tops. http://www.terracycle.co.uk/en-UK/brigades/cigarette-waste-brigade.
First council in London to pioneer Ballot Bins
Sutton will be the first council to introduce the ballot bins. Hubbub is working with Sutton Council to deliver Clean Streets Sutton – a litter reduction campaign that aims to build civic pride and change behaviour towards littering.
Cllr Jill Whitehead, Chair of the Environments and Neighbourhood Committee at Sutton Council, said: “We are delighted to be using the ballot bins as part of a range of measures for our Clean Streets Sutton campaign.
“Changing the behaviour of those who litter is crucial to having a clean, safe environment in our town centers, and also in saving money for the taxpayer. We spend millions each year clearing up waste, and, at a time when our budgets are being severely cut, any savings can make a big difference.”
Sutton will install the ballot bins on the walls of three pubs on their High Street n their High Street featuring the question: “Who’s your favorite Superhero – Batman or Superman?
As part of the campaign, Hubbub will deliver a striking community photo gallery down the high-street, ballot Bins, gum litter activities, and a campaign at the local school. The activities and installations go live this week with the school campaign day planned on 22nd March 2016.
The Ballot Bins were first introduced as part of Hubbub’s Neat Streets campaign, a social experiment in Villiers Street in London in November last year. Any profits made from the Ballot Bin will go back into the charity and Hubbub’s ongoing work to explore fresh and creative approaches to tackling environmental issues.
The Bins have been available for pre-order on the new website www.ballotbin.co.uk this month.
INCPEN, Litter Composition Survey of England 2014
4 Common Items That Can be Reused Again and Again
As a society we are getting much better at taking our obligations to the world and environment around us more seriously. This is undoubtedly a good thing! The effects of climate change are beginning to manifest across the world, and this is turning the issue from an abstract threat into a very real danger. Trying to introduce some greener, more eco-friendly practices into your life isn’t just a great way of doing something beneficial for society and the world around you. It is a wonderful way of engaging positively with the world and carries with it numerous psychological benefits.
Being a greener, more ecologically friendly person doesn’t require any dramatic life changes. Breaking or making a few small habits is all it takes to make your life a greener one. In this article we look at one of the easiest, yet most effective green practices to get into: reusing everyday items.
Jars and Containers
Glass and metal are widely recycled, and recycling is a good thing! However, consider whether any containers you buy, whether it’s a tub of ice cream or a jar of coffee, can be washed out and reused for something else. Mason jars, for example, can be used to store homemade pasta sauce and can be washed for future use. Once you start thinking about it, you will find endless opportunities to reuse your old containers.
An ice-cold soda is a wonderful treat on a hot day, but buying soda can get expensive, and the manufacturing and distribution of the drinks themselves isn’t great for the environment. However, by holding on to your old soda bottles and repurposing them as water bottles, you can save money on drinks, or use them to measure out water for your garden.
Most of the time groceries come in paper bags, which are better for the environment than the plastic alternatives, but they are less durable and thus harder to reuse. Whenever the store places your items in a plastic bag, hang onto it so you can reuse the bags again. If you want to take it one step further, consider looking into buying some personalized recycled bags. These bags are designed to last for a long time and are made of recycled materials. They look striking and unique, they’ll turn heads, and maybe even attitudes!
If you’re a keen gardener, then you will already probably know how to reseed your plants in order to ensure a fresh crop after each plant’s lifecycle. If you have space in your garden, or haven’t yet tried your hand at gardening, then consider planting a small vegetable plot. Growing your own veggies means that you’ll be helping to cut back on the emissions generated by their transport and production. The best part about growing your own food in this way is that, by harvesting properly and saving the seeds, you can be set up with fresh vegetables for life!
Reusing and recycling common household items is an easy way to make your world a little bit greener. Once you start looking for these opportunities you’ll realize that they’re everywhere!
These 5 Green Office Mistakes Are Costing You Money
The sudden interest in green business is very encouraging. According to recent reports, 42% of all companies have rated sustainability as an important element of their business. Unfortunately, the focus on sustainability will only last if companies can find ways to use it to boost their ROI.
Many businesses get so caught up in being socially conscious that they hope the financial aspect of it takes care of itself. The good news is that there are plenty of ways to go green and boost your net income at the same time.
Here are some important mistakes that you will want to avoid.
Only implementing sustainability on micro-scale
The biggest reason that brands are going green is to improve their optics with their customers. Too many businesses are making very minor changes, such as processing paperwork online and calling themselves green.
Customers have become wary of these types of companies. If you want to earn their business, you are going to need to go all the way. Bring in a green business consultant and make every feasible change to demonstrate that you are a green organization from top to bottom.
Not prioritizing investments by long-term ROI
It isn’t realistic to build an entirely green organization overnight. You will need to allocate your capital wisely.
Before investing in any green assets or services, you should always conduct a long-term cost benefit analysis. The initial investment for some green services may be over $20,000. If they don’t shave your cost by at least $3,000 a year, they probably aren’t worth the investment.
Determine which green investments will have the best pay off over the next 10 years. Make these investments before anything else. Then compare your options within each of those categories.
Implementing green changes without a plan
Effective, long-term planning is the key to business success. This principle needs to be applied to green organizations as well.
Before implementing a green strategy, you must answer the following questions:
- How will I communicate my green business philosophy to my customers?
- How will running a green business affect my revenue stream?
- How will adopting green business strategies change my monthly expenses? Will they increase or decrease them?
- How will my company finance green upgrades and other investments?
The biggest mistake that too many green businesses make is being overly optimistic with these forecasts. Take the time to collect objective data and make your decisions accordingly. This will help you run a much more profitable green business.
Not considering the benefits of green printing
Too many companies believe that going paperless is the only way to run a green organization. Unfortunately, going 100% paperless it’s not feasible for most companies.
Rather than aim for an unrealistic goal, consider the option of using a more environmentally friendly printer. It won’t be perfect, but it will be better than the alternative.
According to experts from Doranix, environmental printers have several benefits:
- They can process paper that has been completely recycled.
- They consume less energy than traditional printers.
- They use ink that is more environmentally friendly.
You want to take a look at different green printers and compare them. You’ll find that some will meet your needs as a green business.
Poorly communicating your green business strategy to customers
Brand positioning doesn’t happen on its own. If you want to run a successful green business, you must communicate your message to customers as clearly as possible. You must also avoid the appearance that you are patronizing them.
The best approach is to be clear when you were first making the change. I’ll make an announcement about your company‘s commitment to sustainability.
You also want to reinforce this message overtime by using green labels on all of your products. You don’t have to be blatant with your messaging at this stage. Simply provide a small, daily reminder on your products and invoices.
Finally, it is a good idea to participate in green business seminars and other events. If your community has a local Green Chamber of Commerce, you should consider joining as well.