Utilizing technology for a smarter way to reduce litter

17 Jan 2024
Partnering with Litterati, Philip Morris International is taking a unique approach to using data to help prevent littering around the world.
Man taking a photograph of litter with his mobile phone

Finding solutions to more effectively manage the impact of our products on the environment has long been a focus for Philip Morris International (PMI), and is a key pillar of our sustainability strategy. Reducing and appropriately managing post-consumer waste means that we can extract, convert, and use fewer raw materials from a planet with limited natural resources. It’s the right thing to do.

Turning to technology has been one of the ways we have worked to innovate our post-consumer waste strategy. That’s why we have been partnering with Litterati, a company on a mission to raise awareness and encourage behavioral change. Litterati works by engaging users to take pictures of the litter they see. These geo-tagged images enable the team to create data on littering that can lead to actionable insights, such as adding more bins in high-litter areas.

Utilizing technology for a smarter way to reduce litter over time


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“Litterati is an organization dedicated to the prevention of litter,” said CEO and co-founder, Jeff Krischner.

“We use technology to engage people, and then use the collected data to drive smarter litter-prevention strategies.”

Speaking about how the company got started, chief strategy officer and co-founder Dick Ayres explained: “We started by taking photographs [of litter] on Instagram, and now we’ve developed a platform which connects people, and allows us to analyze data and uncover insights and patterns. The data is taken from the app, so we can understand where hotspots are.”

The app not only allows the team to see where the litter is, but also enables the user to share the type of litter they found, and it can even help identify illegal dumping sites.

“The type of litter item, as well as where and when it’s picked up, are all recorded for analysis,” says Krischner. “We can empower people with the tools to be a part of the solution.”

This information enables the team at Litterati and their partners to create viable, long-term solutions aiming to effectively reduce littering in the areas they focus on.

PMI’s relationship with Litterati began in 2019, with the ‘CleanDeinWien’ campaign in Austria, and they have collaborated on many projects since.

PMI continues to collaborate with Litterati to create more effective post-consumer waste management solutions and positively influence consumer behavior across the world.

“I’m an optimist,” says Krischner. “I believe that in 10 years, we will be fast approaching a true end to litter. We can be a data-driven decision tool for every city in the world, and can engage a global community to be a part of the solution.”