It's a normal Thursday afternoon in the office when the phone rings, it's a call from the sports desk at the Daily Mail who I’m guessing don’t usually call environment charities. They have seen our cigarette voting ashtray asking people who they think is the best footballer in the world Ronaldo or Messi. Bizarrely Ronaldo is winning – perhaps a reflection of the number of Manchester United supporters in London.

Minutes later we get another call, this time from the Evening Standard. It sets the pattern for the rest of the day. A twitter post on TheLADbible to 1.4 million followers generates 1,000 retweets and 26,000 Facebook likes. Minutes later a post on UNILAD gets 86,000 Facebook likes. The tweets open the door for a swathe of football sites to join in the debate leading to articles in newspapers such as Bild in Germany and the Sydney Herald. A French TV crew arrive in the office intrigued as to the origins of the bin. Later the bin is picked up by the design world and is featured on the home pages of Design Week.

One bin, one simple idea, massive interest, why? The voting bin is one installation in our Neat Streets campaign, a social experiment in Villiers Street London testing the best methods from around the world to stop littering.


Our research found that litter was mainly generated at night by young men and that cigarette butts were the item most littered. The voting bin was our response to these research findings and builds on proven behaviour change techniques. The bin is a fun game helping to jolt people out of their normal littering routine. It is topical – the questions change weekly and are all sport focussed reflecting the interests of the audience we are trying to reach. The requested behaviour change is easy to follow.

The voting bin is a simple solution but has provoked an incredibly positive response. We've already 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.

The voting bin encapsulates how Hubbub works using research and creative solutions to inspire change. The impact of the bin along with all the other installations in Villiers Street is being independently evaluated and we will be sharing results – good and bad – in December. Let us know if you would like to be invited along to hear them.

By Trewin

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