Hong Kong litterbugs shamed in billboard portraits made using DNA from trash

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DNA Used to Shame Litterbugs in Anti-Littering Campaign

Hong Kong environmental organizations are using DNA to publicly shame people who don't properly dispose of their trash.

Steep fines for littering come with a fixed $1500 penalty which apparently, isn't enough punishment to put a halt on a growing problem. As a result, environmental groups teamed up to create a new anti littering campaign called "The Face of Litter". In the campaigns' videos workers pick up pieces of trash discarded on the street, carefully placed them in plastic containers and take them to a nearby lab.

They then extract DNA found on the liter's surfaces, and use a process called 'snap shot DNA phenotyping'. This process combines a DNA with demographic information based on the neighborhood and the type of trash it came from to recreate an estimation of the face of the person who threw the trash on the ground.

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Hong Kong litterbugs shamed in billboard portraits made using DNA from trash
Photo credit: Ogilvy & Mather HK
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Photo credit: Ogilvy & Mather HK
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Poster portraits of the DNA-profiled litterbugs are then placed across the city and online to promote the message, along with a video that demonstrates the experiment and warns people not to litter, at the risk of becoming the next face of the campaign.



Click on the slideshow below to see pictures on Obama and China's environmental agreement.

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Obama, China Environmental Agreement
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Hong Kong litterbugs shamed in billboard portraits made using DNA from trash
BEIJING, CHINA - NOVEMBER 12: U.S. President Barack Obama (C) gestures as U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry (L) shakes hands with Chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress (NPC) Zhang Dejiang during a meeting at the Great Hall of the People on November 12, 2014 in Beijing, China. Obama is on a state visit, after attending the APEC summit, during a week-long trip to the Asia-Pacific. (Photo by Petar Kujundzic -Pool/Getty Images)
US President Barack Obama reviews an honour guard with Chinese President Xi Jinping (L) at a welcome ceremony in the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on November 12, 2014. Obama began a one-day state visit after the closing of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit. AFP PHOTO/Greg BAKER (Photo credit should read GREG BAKER/AFP/Getty Images)
BEIJING, CHINA - NOVEMBER 12: U.S. President Barack Obama (L) shakes hands with Chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress (NPC) Zhang Dejiang during a meeting at the Great Hall of the People on November 12, 2014 in Beijing, China. Obama is on a state visit, after attending the APEC summit, during a week-long trip to the Asia-Pacific. (Photo by Petar Kujundzic -Pool/Getty Images)
BEIJING, CHINA - NOVEMBER 12: Chinese President Xi Jinping (L) accompanies U.S. President Barack Obama (R) to view an honour guard during a welcoming ceremony outside the Great Hall of the People on November 12, 2014 in Beijing, China. U.S. President Barack Obama pays a state visit to China after attending the 22nd Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Economic Leaders' Meeting. (Photo by Feng Li/Getty Images)
BEIJING, CHINA - NOVEMBER 12: U.S. President Barack Obama (2nd L) and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry (L) attend a meeting with Chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress (NPC) Zhang Dejiang (2nd R) at the Great Hall of the People on November 12, 2014 in Beijing, China. Obama is on a state visit, after attending the APEC summit, during a week-long trip to the Asia-Pacific. (Photo by Petar Kujundzic -Pool/Getty Images)
BEIJING, CHINA - NOVEMBER 12: U.S. President Barack Obama shakes hands with China's Premier Li Keqiang during a meeting at the Great Hall of the People on November 12, 2014 in Beijing, China. Obama is on a state visit, after attending the APEC summit, during a week-long trip to the Asia-Pacific. (Photo by Petar Kujundzic -Pool/Getty Images)
BEIJING, CHINA - NOVEMBER 12: U.S. President Barack Obama (centre L) and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry (2nd L) attend a meeting with Chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress (NPC) Zhang Dejiang (centre R) at the Great Hall of the People on November 12, 2014 in Beijing, China. Obama is on a state visit, after attending the APEC summit, during a week-long trip to the Asia-Pacific. (Photo by Petar Kujundzic -Pool/Getty Images)
BEIJING, CHINA - NOVEMBER 12: U.S. President Barack Obama attends a meeting with China's Premier Li Keqiang at the Great Hall of the People on November 12, 2014 in Beijing, China. Obama is on a state visit, after attending the APEC summit, during a week-long trip to the Asia-Pacific. (Photo by Petar Kujundzic -Pool/Getty Images)
US President Barack Obama makes his way to board Air Force One shortly before departing from Capital International Airport in Beijing on November 12, 2014, on his way to attend the 12th Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) summit in Myanmar after a state visit following the APEC summit in Beijing. Myanmar kicked off on November 12 its biggest gathering of world leaders since shedding junta rule but concerns over the pace of democratic reforms are expected to surface at the two-day event featuring US President Barack Obama. AFP PHOTO/Mandel NGAN (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)
BEIJING, CHINA - NOVEMBER 12: U.S. President Barack Obama speaks during a meeting with China's Premier Li Keqiang (not pictured) at the Great Hall of the People on November 12, 2014 in Beijing, China. Obama is on a state visit, after attending the APEC summit, during a week-long trip to the Asia-Pacific. (Photo by Petar Kujundzic -Pool/Getty Images)
US President Barack Obama (L) takes part in a bilateral meeting with China's Premier Li Keqiang (R) at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on November 12, 2014. Obama began a one-day state visit after the closing of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit. AFP PHOTO / Mandel NGAN (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)
US President Barack Obama (L) and US Secretary of State John Kerry (green tie) step out from the Great Hall of the People following a meeting at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on November 12, 2014. Obama began a one-day state visit after the closing of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit. AFP PHOTO / Mandel NGAN (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)
US Secretary of State John Kerry toasts with Chinese President Xi Jinping at a lunch banquet in the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on November 12, 2014. Obama began a one-day state visit after the closing of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit. AFP PHOTO/Greg BAKER /POOL (Photo credit should read GREG BAKER/AFP/Getty Images)
US President Barack Obama (L) and Chinese President Xi Jinping drink a toast at a lunch banquet in the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on November 12, 2014. Obama began a one-day state visit after the closing of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit. AFP PHOTO/Greg BAKER /POOL (Photo credit should read GREG BAKER/AFP/Getty Images)
US President Barack Obama (L) returns to his seat as Chinese President Xi Jinping applauds after they drank a toast at a lunch banquet in the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on November 12, 2014. Obama began a one-day state visit after the closing of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit. AFP PHOTO/Greg BAKER /POOL (Photo credit should read GREG BAKER/AFP/Getty Images)
US President Barack Obama (L) and China's President Xi Jinping (R) arrive for a press conference at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on November 12, 2014. Obama began a one-day state visit after the closing of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit. AFP PHOTO / Mandel NGAN (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)
US President Barack Obama, center, is seated during his bilateral meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, Wednesday, Nov. 12, 2014. With Obama are U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, left, and National Security Advisor Susan Rice, right. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
U.S. President Barack Obama, center right, with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, and Chinese Presient Xi Jinping, center left, are seated with their respective delegations as they meet at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, Wednesday, Nov. 12, 2014. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
US President Barack Obama (R) walks with Chinese President Xi Jinping at a welcome ceremony in the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on November 12, 2014. Obama began a one-day state visit after the closing of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit. AFP PHOTO/Greg BAKER (Photo credit should read GREG BAKER/AFP/Getty Images)
U.S. President Barack Obama, right, smiles after a group of children waved flags and flowers to cheer him during a welcome ceremony with Chinese President Xi Jinping at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China Wednesday, Nov. 12, 2014. When Xi Jinping took the reins of a booming China two years ago, President Barack Obama saw an opportunity to remake America's relationship with the Asian power. But even after Obama's unusually robust efforts to forge personal ties with Xi, the two leaders are meeting in Beijing amid significant tensions, both old and new. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)
A Chinese honor guard prepares to welcome U.S. President Barack Obama outside the Great Hall of the People in Beijing Wednesday, Nov. 12, 2014. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)
BEIJING, CHINA - NOVEMBER 10: U.S. President Barack Obama (L), Chinese President Xi Jinping (2L), Jinping's wife Peng Liyuan (C) and Russian President Vladimir Putin (R) watch a fireworks display during the APEC Leaders meeting November 10, 2014 in Beijing, China. The APEC Summit hosted 1500 economic leaders in Beijing to deliberate key issues facing the Asia-Pacific economy. (Photo by Sasha Mordovets/Getty Images)
BEIJING, CHINA - NOVEMBER 10: U.S. President Barack Obama (L), Chinese President Xi Jinping (2L), Jinping's wife Peng Liyuan (C) and Russian President Vladimir Putin (R) watch a fireworks display during the APEC Leaders meeting November 10, 2014 in Beijing, China. The APEC Summit hosted 1500 economic leaders in Beijing to deliberate key issues facing the Asia-Pacific economy. (Photo by Sasha Mordovets/Getty Images)
BEIJING, CHINA - NOVEMBER 10: Chinese President Xi Jinping (R) and Russian President Vladimir Putin (L) attend a family photo ceremony during the APEC Leaders meeting November 10, 2014 in Beijing, China. The APEC Summit hosted 1500 economic leaders in Beijing to deliberate key issues facing the Asia-Pacific economy. (Photo by Sasha Mordovets/Getty Images)
BEIJING, CHINA - NOVEMBER 10: U.S. President Barack Obama (R), Chinese President Xi Jinping (C) and Russian President Vladimir Putin (L) attend a family photo ceremony during the APEC Leaders meeting November 10, 2014 in Beijing, China. The APEC Summit hosted 1500 economic leaders in Beijing to deliberate key issues facing the Asia-Pacific economy. (Photo by Sasha Mordovets/Getty Images)
BEIJING, CHINA - NOVEMBER 10: Chinese President Xi Jinping (C), Brunei Sultain Hassanal Bolkiah (L) and Russian President Vladimir Putin (C) attend a family photo ceremony during the APEC Leaders meeting November 10, 2014 in Beijing, China. The APEC Summit hosted 1500 economic leaders in Beijing to deliberate key issues facing the Asia-Pacific economy. (Photo by Sasha Mordovets/Getty Images)
BEIJING, CHINA - NOVEMBER 10: U.S. President Barack Obama (L), Chinese President Xi Jinping (C) and Russian President Vladimir Putin (R) watch a fireworks display during the APEC Leaders meeting on November 10, 2014 in Beijing, China. The APEC Summit hosted 1500 economic leaders in Beijing to deliberate key issues facing the Asia-Pacific economy. (Photo by Sasha Mordovets/Getty Images)
BEIJING, CHINA - NOVEMBER 10: U.S. President Barack Obama (L) and Russian President Vladimir Putin (R) attend a family photo ceremony during the APEC Leaders meeting November 10, 2014 in Beijing, China. The APEC Summit hosted 1500 economic leaders in Beijing to deliberate key issues facing the Asia-Pacific economy. (Photo by Sasha Mordovets/Getty Images)
Russia's President Vladimir Putin (L) poses with Chinese President Xi Jinping and his wife Peng Liyuan (R) as he arrives for Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit banquet at the Beijing National Aquatics Center in the Chinese capital on November 10, 2014. Top leaders and ministers of the 21-member APEC grouping are meeting in Beijing from November 7 to 11. AFP PHOTO/Greg BAKER (Photo credit should read GREG BAKER/AFP/Getty Images)
Russia's President Vladimir Putin (L) is welcomed by Chinese President Xi Jinping and his wife Peng Liyuan (R) as he arrives for Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit banquet at the Beijing National Aquatics Center in the Chinese capital on November 10, 2014. Top leaders and ministers of the 21-member APEC grouping are meeting in Beijing from November 7 to 11. AFP PHOTO/Greg BAKER (Photo credit should read GREG BAKER/AFP/Getty Images)
BEIJING, CHINA - NOVEMBER 10: U.S. President Barack Obama (L), Chinese President Xi Jinping's wife Peng Liyuan (C), and Russian President Vladimir Putin (R) watch a fireworks display during the APEC Leaders meeting on November 10, 2014 in Beijing, China. The APEC Summit hosted 1500 economic leaders in Beijing to deliberate key issues facing the Asia-Pacific economy. (Photo by Sasha Mordovets/Getty Images)
Russia's President Vladimir Putin, left, is greeted by Chinese President Xi Jinping, center, who is hosting a welcome dinner for APEC leaders at the Beijing National Aquatics Center in Beijing, Monday, Nov. 10, 2014. At right is Peng Liyuan, Xi’s wife. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)
Russian President Vladimir Putin, left, is greeted by Chinese President Xi Jinping, center, who is hosting a welcome dinner for APEC leaders at the Beijing National Aquatics Center in Beijing, Monday, Nov. 10, 2014. At right is Peng Liyuan, Xi’s wife. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)
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