Tidying up the /cig-bin

Cigarette receptacle with sloping top
Cigarette receptacle with sloping top
Two types of cigarette receptacle with sloping tops to prevent cigarettes (and other litter) being put on top. Images from the New Pig catalogue pigalog.

These smokers’ bins from New Pig employ a very simple architecture of control – simply, sloping tops which prevent litter (including cigarette butts) accumulating. Compared with more conventional flat-topped cigarette receptacles this is presumably effective, although it does mean that anything placed on top will end up on the floor.

As with cone cups and wire-mesh bins, the success of the design in reducing the ‘undesirable’ behaviour must be down to people’s (conscious or otherwise) antipathy to an immediate ‘messy’ consequence of their actions. If you throw a cigarette butt on the ground straight-off, you can immediately forget about it. If you put it on top of a flat-topped bin, you can also immediately forget about it. But putting it on a sloping bin top and seeing it (or imagining it) falling off onto the ground somehow draws attention to your actions, just as leaving a paper cone cup with some liquid spilling out onto the table is rarely done, but leaving a conventional flat-bottomed paper cup is very common.

Incidentally, New Pig seems quite an interesting company with a playful approach to building its brand.

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