We aim to solve environmental problems with the power of science and technology, and have focused our efforts
on solving the global litter problem. We offer Pirika, an anti-litter smartphone app, and Takanome, an AI-based
program that maps and measures litter using visual recognition technology.

Innovation Summary

Innovation Overview

Pirika, Inc. is working on solving the global litter problem by developing a system that measures the global distribution of litter and using the data collected from that system to develop effective solutions. Many people understand that litter is a global issue, and great efforts have been made over the years to clean up neighborhoods through legislation, labor/volunteerism and litter education. These efforts include zoning laws and other anti-litter laws, regulations and ordinances, mass clean-up efforts, as well as education and other awareness-raising efforts through public campaigns and other publicity.

However, we remain unable to accurately assess how bad the current litter problem is or measure the impact of anti-litter efforts due to the absence of well-developed measurement methods or standards. For example, people are generally unable to tell whether any particular public campaign to improve smoking manners or establishment of a new smoking-designated area reduced cigarette butt litter. These anti-litter efforts, without the implementation of some standardized method to measure their impact, may have no meaningful impact on the global litter problem.

Our services, principally Pirika and Takanome, can be differentiated from other anti-litter services in their use of technology to measure such impact. In particular, Takanome has made it possible to conduct cost-effective litter research and analysis with consistency over a wide area. Numerous governments in Japan have begun to assess their local litter problems and measure the impact of their anti-litter efforts using our Takanome-based research services. Pirika is a widely used smartphone app that has over 40,000 individual users and over 300 corporate, government and other organizational users, across 77 countries. Pirika allows its users to upload and share with other users pictures of litter that they pick up, and maps the litter data based on those uploads. We also provide free data visualization services for clean-up efforts of companies and other organizations.

Over 30 million pieces of litter have been picked up through Pirika. Takanome is an AI-based program that maps and measures litter using visual recognition technology. Takanome-based research has been used in numerous projects to identify anti-litter solutions, by providing, among others, analyses of placement of designated smoking areas and public trash bins and effectiveness of anti-litter patrol and education. We aim to contribute to designing litterless cities by evaluating anti-litter efforts with our cutting-edge research and providing other consulting services. Pirika, our smartphone application, has been used by more than 300,000 individuals across 77 countries. More than 60 million litter pieces have been picked up through Pirika.

Innovation Description

Innovation Development

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Year: 2011
Level of government: Regional/State government


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