Around 18 months ago Hubbub Enterprise was formed, in part to launch the world’s first voting ashtray, the Ballot Bin. Whilst we have taken on new projects and products since, the Ballot Bin remains a symbol of what is exciting about what we do at Hubbub.

To date, we have sold more than 700 bins in over 20 countries, and have helped reduce cigarette butt litter by up to 46%, reaching over 12 million people via our online campaigns. It’s been such a success we thought we would share a few insights on what we’ve learnt from the Ballot Bin as a product, in this our founding year, and how this translates into other areas of our work.

What we’ve learnt

The Ballot Bin is original. To create behaviour change, you need to stand out from the crowd. It also helps if you can make people smile. The Ballot Bin came about by taking a dry subject and refreshing it with a completely new approach, making it simple and fun – but with a serious element. As we scale Hubbub’s other innovative ideas such as litter and food waste campaigns, we want to safeguard this approach.

The Ballot Bin responds to behaviours. Whether you’re launching a new app or introducing a sanitation block in Africa, you need to get insights on what is driving behaviour and what it will take to shift it. The Ballot Bin was no different. It was borne out of a process of research and understanding what it would take to engage people, particularly young men, on cigarette litter. This process is the bedrock of any new product of campaign at Hubbub. It doesn’t have to cost a lot but will mean you create something that people want and use.

The Ballot Bin is win win. Received wisdom dictates that environmental and commercial objectives don’t go hand in hand. The Ballot Bin shows the opposite to be true - the environmental value is embedded in its use; the impact increases the more we sell. Not only have we helped customers around the world to reduce cigarette butt litter, we have also created a steady income stream which goes directly back into funding Hubbub’s new environmental campaigns.

What next

As time goes on and the Ballot Bin becomes business as usual at Hubbub, it’s easy to forget that the good things about a project or product remain good. So we will be sure to keep our founding product firmly in mind as we look take up new challenges in the years to come.

Bring it on!