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

DNA Used to Shame Litterbugs in Anti-Littering Campaign
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.

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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