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Dont drop litter signs

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 dan gibson 11 Oct 2021

One for the behavioural scientists. 

Do these signs have any impact on people intending to drop litter, or will litterbugs carry on littering regardless?

In reply to dan gibson:

I'm of the opinion that the only way to educate a litter bug is with a sniper round to the head.

Anyone who gets to adult life and thinks it's okay to dump their litter on the streets is someone society is better without. 

In reply to Dax H:

..along with people that think you can use the recycling bin areas as general rubbish tips. Just kill them all.

 Armadillo 11 Oct 2021
In reply to dan gibson:

I'd also be interested to know how effective they are.  My local authority is one of several that have adopted the "Don't Be A Tosser" slogan and messaging, based on (supposedly) successful use in Australia.  Fingers crossed it makes people stop and think about what they're doing...

 Morty 11 Oct 2021
In reply to dan gibson:

> One for the behavioural scientists. 

> Do these signs have any impact on people intending to drop litter, or will litterbugs carry on littering regardless?

It probably has an effect on individuals who feel they are being observed littering and don't want to look like arseholes. 

 girlymonkey 11 Oct 2021
In reply to dan gibson:

I can't find the article now, but I read a thing last year about a national park authority (Maybe Loch Lomond?) who trialed different signage and monitored the amount of litter left. They found that the biggest impact was from signs which engaged with people's sense of identity. A positive message which taps into people's sense of Scottishness, or whatever your target group is, seemed to have the most effect. 

I tried to search for it again and I can't remember where I found it, sorry!

In reply to girlymonkey:

There is a mentality that some will say it's creating jobs for people to tidy it up. Drop litter, local jobs for local people!? I'm with the Dax culling is likely most effective. 

Post edited at 18:17
 Timmd 11 Oct 2021
In reply to summo:

Maybe some drop litter but are good at home help?

Humans are weird and multifaceted...

Post edited at 18:40
 yorkshireman 11 Oct 2021
In reply to Dax H:

> I'm of the opinion that the only way to educate a litter bug is with a sniper round to the head.

Trouble is, it just exacerbates the problem - its hunting season round here at the moment and I'm always finding spent rifle and shotgun cartridges in the forest. Can we guarantee litter-snipers would pick up after themselves?

I found (well my dog did) most of a deer leg in the garden yesterday. With Dax's solution I'd be having to take human heads and other remains off them too and it's bad enough stopping them from eating chicken poo so I think it needs work before its a viable solution.

Other than that, great idea

 yorkshireman 11 Oct 2021
In reply to dan gibson:

> One for the behavioural scientists. 

If you haven't read Rory Sutherland's book Alchemy, I highly recommend it.

Anyway I think it was in that book that I read about the Texas example (it might have been the O'Behave podcast).

https://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/trashy-beginnings-dont-mess-texas-180962490/

 john arran 11 Oct 2021
In reply to Morty:

> It probably has an effect on individuals who feel they are being observed littering and don't want to look like arseholes. 

What a sad state of affairs that being seen looking like an arsehole may be a bigger deterrent to some than actually being an arsehole.

 gravy 11 Oct 2021
In reply to dan gibson:

The only thing that works is picking up the litter. 

An abscense of litter discourages people from dropping it. 

Picking it up encourages people not to ignore it and pick it up themselves (God only knows why they don't think of this themselves but there you go)

And picking it up removes the litter which makes the place much nicer.

Get yourself a litter picker it makes picking up the litter much easier.

You can transform a place this way.

 Phil Lyon 11 Oct 2021
In reply to gravy:

I heard about a sign which brilliantly phrased it.

"Most people don't drop litter. Thank you."

Making litter bugs seem a minority, whereas as suggested above, once there's a few bits of litter around, it makes it easier for some to justify that others are doing it anyway.

Thanking those that do the right thing and pretty much ignoring those that don't apart from a passive-aggressive glance-in-writing. Bit like telling kids off. 

 Yanis Nayu 11 Oct 2021
In reply to dan gibson:

Funnily enough I had the same thought about “No tipping” signs yesterday. 

In reply to yorkshireman:

> Trouble is, it just exacerbates the problem - its hunting season round here at the moment and I'm always finding spent rifle and shotgun cartridges in the forest. Can we guarantee litter-snipers would pick up after themselves?

Easy, you have a sniper watch over the sniper. 

> I found (well my dog did) most of a deer leg in the garden yesterday. With Dax's solution I'd be having to take human heads and other remains off them too and it's bad enough stopping them from eating chicken poo so I think it needs work before its a viable solution.

It would only be short term until we run out of arse holes and think of the free dog food. Win win in my book. 

In reply to dan gibson:

There are people for whom an item ceases to exist as soon as they have finished with it. There are also those for whom an empty pop can is an opportunity to demonstrate how little they care.

We've got to stop selling litter. 

In reply to Dax H:

It would only be short term until we run out of arse holes and think of the free dog food. Win win in my book. 
 

I think your underestimating the number of arse holes in the U.K.

We might have to bring in migrant snipers and dogs 😏

 Nic Barber 09:48 Tue
In reply to dan gibson:

I'm of the opinion that people are generally alright but sometimes don't think that much therefore a bit of nudge theory is better than doing nothing if it affects just a handful of people. Similar to cleaner areas normalises not dropping litter as previously mentioned. 

When griping about heavy litter levels, and going out to pick some up last spring, a friend queried what was the point, as if the point was just to make myself feel better and a bit smug. Maybe this is an outcome but clearing an area normalises that area being litter free.

Of course some people are just arseholes who won't change.

In reply to Dax H:

> I'm of the opinion that the only way to educate a litter bug is with a sniper round to the head.

...and someone who doesn't pick up after their dog deserves a dog's egg dirty sanchez too!

 steveb2006 11:30 Tue
In reply to girlymonkey:

> A positive message which taps into people's sense of Scottishness, or whatever your target group is, seemed to have the most effect. 

> I tried to search for it again and I can't remember where I found it, sorry!

"They may take our lives, but we'll never leave our litter!"

Post edited at 11:31
 Wingnut 12:33 Tue
In reply to dan gibson:

One of the parks round here regularly has litter strewn all round the bins in the mornings. It doesn't happen on the odd few solar compactor bins, which have heavy lids, and most of the dropped litter seems to have tiny toothmarks in it.

Perhaps we should get the signs translated into Squirrel?

In reply to dan gibson:

> Do these signs have any impact on people intending to drop litter, or will litterbugs carry on littering regardless?

I remember reading an article years ago (sorry, don't remember the reference) reporting some research on this topic. It said polite signs saying "Please" or "Thank you" were found to be definitely more effective than signs which did not say that; or signs which could get people's backs up by appearing to be bossy or imperative

In reply to dan gibson:

In te late 80s the Texans ran a 'Don't Mess With Texas' campaign aimed at 18-35 year old males. It appealed to their sense of pride as Texans and was enormously successful. More recently, English Heritage, or someone similar, ran an anti-littering campaign with Vivaldi playing in the background and pastoral scenes delighting viewers and it was utterly hopeless. No your target audience!

In reply to profitofdoom:

> polite signs saying "Please" or "Thank you" were found to be definitely more effective than signs which did not say that; 

Sadly, not always …


 deepsoup 17:15 Tue
In reply to profitofdoom:

> .. or signs which could get people's backs up by appearing to be bossy or imperative

I can see how that might work.  There's a house I pass sometimes when I'm out for a run, and one time a wee while ago the owner had put a sign up (presumably) trying to deter people from letting dogs foul their garden. 

I was surprised to learn it's much of a problem there, but I would certainly sympathise if it was.  And I don't even have a dog.  But while I can't remember exactly what their sign said, I do remember finding it so offensive that I was actually half tempted to shit on their lawn myself.

In reply to Toerag:

> ...and someone who doesn't pick up after their dog deserves a dog's egg dirty sanchez too!

Not harsh enough I'm afraid. Not cleaning up after your dog (including hanging the bag in a tree) should be punishable by being fed feet first in to a wood chipper. 

I'm a dog owner, it's not hard to do and I have a belt pouch to put the bag in until I pass a bin or get back home. 

In reply to gravy:

Yep that is right. Proven to work. 

In reply to dan gibson:

Not answering your question but some curious findings: https://www.friendsofthelakedistrict.org.uk/news/litter-research


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