Keep New Zealand Beautiful launches new campaign to tackle litter

Keep New Zealand Beautiful (KNZB) has launched an anti- litter campaign, fronted by a boisterous character named Mama Nature to celebrate Kiwis doing the right thing when it comes to disposing rubbish.

KNZB saw a need for a new litter reduction campaign after its volunteers collected enough rubbish to fill 120 rugby fields with litter reaching half a metre in height from just one week-long clean up week.

The campaign also aims to tackle new research revealed by KNZB showing the top items littered in public places by New Zealanders, with the key culprit being cigarette butts (78% of litter), followed by takeaway packaging (5%).

Mama Nature was developed by KNZB to encourage Kiwis to do the right thing with their litter including disposing of it in the bin, taking litter home when a bin isn’t available and picking up litter they come across. Mama Nature cracks down on those who litter and celebrates the “be- yooo-diful” behaviour of those who do the right thing and put their litter in the bin.

The national litter behaviour research, commissioned by KNZB, found nearly all New Zealanders (93%) think it is important for New Zealand to maintain its clean, green image.

Despite this, the research showed nearly half (44%) of those surveyed littered within just five metres of their nearest bin. According to the data, the average distance New Zealanders are prepared to walk to a bin to dispose their rubbish is only 8.4 metres, with littering rising dramatically beyond this distance.

KNZB CEO Heather Saunderson says it is great to see New Zealanders take such pride in our country, however the organisation will be undertaking more work to reach a holistic view of the country’s litter problem.

“We created Mama Nature to celebrate ‘be-yooo-diful’ behaviour when it comes to Kiwis doing the right thing with their rubbish and we’re hoping she’ll be a fun reminder for all of us to ensure our litter ends up in the bin.

“The next stage of our litter prevention project will involve us partnering with Stats NZ, the Ministry for the Environment and the Department of Conservation, to launch a Tier 1 National Litter Audit, physically inspecting litter in areas such as motorways, rest stops, residential streets, beaches, rural and industrial locations,” she says.

Mama Nature revives the sentiment of KNZB’s iconic ‘Do the right thing’ and ‘Be A Tidy Kiwi’ campaigns from yesteryear.

The campaign was devised by FCB New Zealand. David Thomason, Chief Brand Officer at FCB New Zealand said, “The media environment has changed a little since 1993’s ‘Do the right thing’. FCB approached this more like we were creating a meme than an ad. It needed to be distinctive, fun and provocative, and work brilliantly in short video and stills. We hope Mama Nature and her catch-phrase will be shared, mimicked and parodied.” 

The study was conducted by Sunshine Yates Consulting Limited over 32 days with researchers observing 765 people and their littering behaviour.



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