Litter on streets, sidewalks and in parks, trash in the wrong containers or on the floor besides it – littering is a growing problem for many cities. Although there is a well-organized waste management system and recycling system in place, the littering problem is well visible in urban areas – wild landfills, trash left from parties or barbecues in parks and along the riverbanks of the Wupper. We would like to change this with you. Because it doesen’t just look ugly, it also increasingly harms our environment.
Worldwide movements like Fridays for Future or the zero waste-Community demonstrate, people have realised the urgency of the problem. And there is the will to change – especially in younger generations.
Current trends like Plogging (jogging+trashpicking) or upcycling-cafes and repair workshops, the expansion of ‚unpackaged’ stores, the increased marketing for reusable bags and other reusable packaging offer many alternatives to become active as a consumer to avoid trashing the planet further.
The AWG and the city of Wuppertal also offer measures to become active. Like the ‚Wupperputz, Picobello’ a river cleanup, Trash workshops for preschool kids or a paper collection in schools. Knowledge about the environment and recycling is far spread, but it is not lived in everyday life.
The challange is to find new ways of activating and engaging citizens for the thematic of trash reduction and avoidance. An important step towards a behavioural change in this, is to raise citizens mindfulness about the issue of littering. Especially the spirit, which is transported by the worldwide movements like Fridays for Future is supposed to be picked up on, and to be translated into actions to help mobilise for the cause. Avoiding trash, reusing things and high end recycling are active protection of the environment.
Besides education about existing measures, the development and establishing of new solutions is desired. Measures, as well as their communication can be chosen creatively – the canvas for ideas is wide open.
Solutions can focus on social activation, such as the design of information concepts or communication platforms, creation of activation events or concentrate on other media-relevant examples. Or the design of practical Solutions, like the design of reusable logistics systems or the establishment of new reward systems for trash picking are also an option.
Besides the development and communication of new measures, there needs to be more appeal for Wuppertals citizens to participate in existing measures and to mobilise them. The challenge partners offer the possibility to use ‚reward systems’, which opens the creative solution range even more.
The challange-partners see the use of social media and digital platforms as a key to success in reaching more people. For the city and the AWG it is difficult to communicate in these media and they are looking for a new strategic concept to enable change. Solutions should, if suitable, focus on the engagement through social media.
Stadt Wuppertal & AWG Abfallwirtschaftsgesellschaft mbH Wuppertal