Subliminal messaging is the latest tool being used to tackle litter in Blackpool.
Footprints have been painted leading up to two bins on the seafront as part of a pilot project to see if it encourages more people to throw their rubbish away responsibly.
Similar schemes have been used in Denmark, and now it is hoped it will help reduce litter outside the Solaris and near the Glitter Ball on South Promenade where the bins are located.
Squires Gate councillor Alistair Humphreys said: “The aim is to send a subliminal message to people who find themselves near one of these bins.
“Hopefully the footsteps will lead them to the bin and they will then put their rubbish in it instead of just walking past and just throwing stuff on the ground.
“Apparently it has worked in Copenhagen so we thought we would try it here.
“It doesn’t cost anything to do.”
The scheme resulted in a 46 per cent reduction in littering when it was introduced in the Danish capital.
Coun Humphreys added: “I’m from the generation where your parents were strict about picking up litter and we were told off if we dropped it.
“Sadly we have lost some of that ethos. But if the streets are clean it makes Blackpool a better place for both visitors and residents.
“By painting the footsteps on the ground, we’re also creating a fun element which hopefully will particularly encourage children to throw their litter in the bin.
“These areas do unfortunately attract a lot of litter, and we just want to see if trying this will make a difference.”
Coun Humphreys said the pilot scheme would be monitored for six months and then could be spread out to other bins in the town.
It is part of an overall initiative to reduce litter on South Promenade which is seeing the addition of six new bins in the area.
These have been funded by donations of £1,000 from the Waterloo ward budget of councillors David O’Hara and Derek Robertson, and £1,000 from the Squires Gate ward budget of councillors Christian Cox and Alistair Humphreys.
Will it work?
Trials in other places have shown the footsteps can make a real difference.
The experiment in Copenhagen in 2011 saw a 46 per cent drop in littering.
This prompted other areas to adopt to the idea, including Cardiff. Then, in 2014, Keep Britain Tidy ran it’s own trial in Cheshire, Darlington, Hull and Northumberland.
The three-week experiment saw an average drop in litter of 16 per cent, with Hull seeing the biggest fall of 46 per cent in some areas.