Field: Sustainable living
Global Technical function: Promoting sustainable practices
Technical Function Unit: Public grant total funding for basic research, Raising awareness, Raising consumer awareness
Geographic Area: Sweden

Keep Sweden Tidy

Keep Sweden Tidy is a non-profit organization that strives to reduce littering, by increasing awareness through information campaigns, awards and environmental education. By raising awareness, people may change their behavior and attitude to littering and thus reduce environmental impacts and increase quality of life.

The challenge

Littering introduces foreign objects into the environment, which may lead to injuries to animals, and in the longer term have global consequences as large amounts of plastic end up in the oceans. Removing litter is a costly task for municipalities. Littering also incurs indirect costs, when properties lose value and tourism is negatively affected. Research has also shown that littering creates a feeling of insecurity. Also, people experience less hesitation in throwing trash in already littered locations.

The measure

Keep Sweden Tidy foundation promotes recycling and combats littering by human resources capacity building via information campaigns and environmental education. The foundation, located in Sweden, aims at promoting sustainable practices through raising consumer awareness and influencing people's attitude and behavior in pursuit of sustainable living.  In order to discourage littering, Keep Sweden Tidy collaborates with Swedish authorities as well as stakeholders from industry. The Foundation's activities are made possible thanks to financial contributions from companies and Swedish authorities (public grant total funding for basic research). Keep Sweden Tidy works by actively increasing attention to the issue of littering and tries to change people's attitudes and behavior. The foundation encourages and supports event organizers, and hotels and conference centers by awarding different ecolabels. They also work to inform and teach children and teenagers to create a sustainable society. The project Keep Sweden Clean Super Resource aims to reduce littering in parks. People leave litter from picnics and fast-food meals rather than throwing these in the proper garbage containers. Stockholm, Gothenburg and Malmö are now testing public litter bins that make it possible to separate individual waste fractions. The project has shown that people will sort their garbage in public places if the right facilities are available.

Lessons learnt

The foundation collaborates with many partners that together addresses littering, in order to increase awareness for the issue. Because it is a non-profit organization, funding is required for its operation. The funders make it possible to carry out various projects to increase awareness and change behavior and attitudes to littering. It was also found to be important to find simple and accessible solutions for people to change their behavior and start leading more sustainable lifestyles.

Further deployment

Since the potential for deployment of the concept has been successfully demonstrated, the concept is estimated to be  9 on the GML scale.

 
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