Taiwan gets citizens to pick up 700,000 Cigarette Butts by Rewarding Eggs

Gamification with Extrinsic Rewards Taking a Quick Win

A city in Taiwan, Gukeng with population of 30,000, decided to reward its citizens a soy sauce hard-boiled egg for every 100 cigarette butt they brought in.

Even though the value of a boiled-egg was not great, it massively moved the citizens of Gukeng to collect cigarette butts everywhere they could find. Within 3 months, 700,000 Cigarette Butts were turned in, and 70,000 eggs were given out.

The government also incentivized other good behaviors with these eggs, including asking members to collect recyclables such as bottles and wasted tires in exchange of these eggs. The campaign was a great success, as the professional cleaners stated that it became very difficult to sweep up any trash bottles or cigarette butts, and they are mostly just sweeping up eggs.

Of course, from what we understand about extrinsic motivation, some people started to cheat and pull cigarette butts out of ashtrays, but the impact of the cheaters are not significant and still led to a successful campaign.

After three months, the local government unit ran out of eggs, and decided to put a pause to the program for better design.

Pretty interesting example of Core Drive 4: Ownership & Possession spearheading Core Drives 1 (Meaning), 2 (Accomplishment), and 3 (Empowerment).

One thought on “Taiwan gets citizens to pick up 700,000 Cigarette Butts by Rewarding Eggs”

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