Don't Litter In Hong Kong, Because This Technology Will Tell Them It Was You

The face of litter.

In the big cities, it's almost impossible to escape trash. It's everywhere: on the streets, in the subway, in the parks...

The idea of tracking down the litterbugs who leave their trash wherever they please is daunting. But the scientists at the Hong Kong Cleanup Organization have found a way.

They collected a bunch of trash from the streets, such as cigarette butts and condoms. Then, the scientists used these specimens to retrieve the DNA information of their previous "owners."

Based on DNA analysis and demographic data, they managed to recreate the faces of the actual litterbugs.

According to the Hong Kong Cleanup Organization, their goal was to "put a face to the anonymous crime of littering."

The innovative campaign "The Face of Litter" features a series of simulated portraits, created with the help of DNA phenotyping service Snapshot.

"Data has been used to create a visual representation of the person who has littered. The DNA data is then combined with other factors, such as demographics [...] to determine the approximate age of the litterer for even greater accuracy," online magazine and campaign partner Ecozine reports.

The organization hopes this campaign will have a positive impact on the community and encourage more people to be aware of litter, excess waste and possible ways to minimize it.

Watch the full video below.

However, the concept of DNA-based portraits isn't all that new. It was popularized back in 2013, when artist and programmer Heather Dewey-Hagborg started making 3D masks from the forensic examples she would find in the streets and public restrooms of New York.

(H/T: Ufunk)

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