Et cigaretskod, en donation, en renere by: A cigarette butt, a donation, a cleaner city

Monica Bengtsen, Guttormur Patursson, Sofie Tarpø Nedergaard, Maria Chas Madsen, Anna Ørsted Drews & Katrine Møller Bach

Studenteropgave: Semesterprojekt


This project concerns an explanation of the problem of cigarette butts lying in the streets of Copenhagen. By using elements of the theory of nudging we have designed an ashtray ment to pledge smokers not to throw their butt in the streets. The design is a response to a design competition published by the municipality of Copenhagen, as an attempt to be the cleanest capital in Europe by the year 2015. The core of the design presentation is in cooperation with private firms, who have obligated themselves to donate money to charity. The amount of money will be dependent on the number of cigarette butts collected. We have used the theory of nudging by Richard H. Thaler and Cass R. Sunstein to create a playful tone around the taboo subject of littering. This theory presents some guidelines to give people a friendly push in the most optimal direction within the topics: Health, wealth and happiness. To gain a deeper understanding to the fundamental ideas of nudging, we have used Langdon Winners theory of artefacts as a social, cultural and political player as an opponent to Thaler and Sunsteins arguments in order to debate the theory of nudging. The Cradle-to-cradle principle is a vision of complete restoration of materials, so new material expansion is limited to the very minimum. We have used cradle-to-cradle in our design, which is built out of durable materials in order to minimize the need to restore the ashtray. The materials we wanted to use to create the ashtray are also possible to gain out of recycled materials. We used observations of the urban life in Copenhagen to determine which part of the city would be optimal to place the astray; later in the process we observed this chosen space, and the present crowd that constituted our audience. We set up an interview with a select group of people we invited that fit the demographic of our audience. This group discussed our design, our visions for the project and their general understanding of cigarette butts, littering and smoking. As a result of this research process, we discovered that the problem of cigarette butts in the street is not contingent on the lack of ashtrays in the city: rather, the number of ashtrays should be sufficient if the smokers’ attention is concentrated on locating them. Furthermore, we found that a change of the smokers mentality about littering is the main issue behind the problem. An efficient place to start is to inform smokers of the resources spent on cleaning litter as well as the negative effect that cigarette butts have on the city environment: aesthetically and as a detriment to one’s health. Our research confirmed our hypothesis that designing an welcoming ashtray as part of Copenhagen’s campaign is the best way to address the problem. Since the campaign “Støt med dit skod”, tries to enlighten the public of the problem of throwing cigarette butts and hoping this knowledge will change many smokers behavior. In conclusion we found that the possibility to “donate” your cigarette butt to help collect donation to charity, is a strong motivation that would help many smokers to change their habits.

UddannelserBasis - Humanistisk-Teknologisk Bacheloruddannelse, (Bachelor uddannelse) Basis
Udgivelsesdato18 jun. 2013
VejledereErnst Schraube


  • Velgørenhed
  • Cigaretskod
  • Ren By
  • Nudge