The European Litter Prevention Association

Nudging: from Denmark with love

31 May 2016

Between 2012 and 2015, the City of Copenhangen ran a litter-prevention programme called “Pure Love” that has allowed it to claim the title of cleanest city in Europe. The programme made clever use of nudging - the holy grail of litter prevention - to encourage the city's inhabitants to keep their environments clean.

To nudge is “to make it easy to do the right thing”. In the context of keeping things clean, this means making bins very visible and easily accessible where and when litter is likely to occur. While the “Pure Love” programme was active, bright green footsteps leading to bright green bins with the slogan 'Ren kærlighed til KBH' and a heart logo could be seen throughout the city of Copenhagen.

Done right, nudging and the resulting cleanliness can also increase people's sense of pride in their environments, thus creating positive loops that further encourage people to keep their environments clean. The campaign was accompanied by merchandising such as pocket ashtrays, mini trash bags, free cards and keychains. It seems Pure Love payed off, as the evaluation report showed the campaign helped greatly in raising awareness about cleanliness in Denmark’s capital, keeping its streets cleaner than before.

For more information, please see the following presentation