Thanks to DNA Testing, Litterbugs Are No Longer Anonymous
In Honor of Earth Day, Hong Kong Cleanup Initiative Releases Campaign Aimed at Litterers
Apr 22, 2015
DNA testing can be helpful for tracking down murderers, but now it's being used to weed out another kind of dastardly culprit: litterbugs.
A new Earth Day campaign for the Hong Kong CleanUp Initiative via Ogilvy & Mather Hong Kong is using the sophisticated tech to address the city's significant litter problem. The agency tapped Parabon NanoLabs to do DNA testing on bits of trash found on the street, such as coffee cups and cigarette butts. The company then used Snapshot DNA phenotyping to produce a sketch of each litterer's face based on the DNA sample found on the trash.
The mug shots were then featured on posters near the trash-infested areas. Although the portraits weren't of real people, just reproductions shaped according to the genetic data, the agency is hoping that the "Wanted"-style ads are enough of a deterrent to make people clean up after themselves.