Rules for participation and registration

The YRE Litter Less competition is open to students aged 11-18 who are enrolled at a school that has registered with Keep New Zealand Beautiful to run the YRE Litter Less programme.

In order for your article, photo or video to be eligible, there are a few criteria you should adhere to.

  1. Your piece should investigate a local environmental issue/problem relating to litter and then report through writing, photos, or video.
  2. The submission should concentrate on possible solutions or present existing possible solutions through an expert (different local stakeholders),
  3. All submissions must have been shared with at least two local audiences (for example, school newsletter, presentations to groups of students, or local/national news etc).
  4. Any photos and music which are not original must be credited and have permission for usage.
  5. Students may submit more than one piece and can work individually or in groups of no more than three people.


  1. A title not exceeding 100 characters (max 20 words)
  2. A maximum of three pictures are allowed with captions of maximum 20 words for each.
  3. Articles are to be uploaded to the YRE site in word or PDF format with accompanying pictures following the guidelines below.
  4. Articles should be no more than 1,000 words and can include illustrations and photos.  The source of all non-original illustrations must be given.
  5. All sources used must be referenced.


  1. A single photograph can be submitted
  2. Photo must include a title of no more than 140 characters
  3. Photo must be original work and must either tell a story, or if it’s a reflection piece, the text attached to it must make sense of what the story is in relation to the photo and be accompanied by a short caption of no more than 150 words to explain the link with environmental sustainability and/or a solution to the problem and/or issue.
  4. Photographs must be submitted digitally as .jpg, .png, .tif, or .gif format with a preferable resolution of not less than 150-300 dp.


  1. Videos should have a title of not more than 140 characters
  2. Videos should be no more than 3 minutes long and should be in documentary, reporter/interview style (recommeded) or PSA format is allowed.
  3. The format should be compatible with You Tube ie:

- WebM files - Vp8 video codec and Vorbis Audio codecs

- MPEG4, 3GPP and MOV files - Typically supporting h264, mpeg4 video codecs, and AAC audio codec

- AVI - Many cameras output this format - typically the video codec is MJPEG and audio is PCM

- MPEGPS - Typically supporting MPEG2 video codec and MP2 audio


Judges may assign a score of 0-5 (5, excellent; 4, very well; 3, well; 2, fairly well; 1, qualified; and 0, it does not) based on how well the submission meets five additional criteria. Participants are encouraged to meet as many of these additional criteria as possible, to improve their work and their chances of winning. These criteria are, however, not compulsory:

Composition i.e. form, structure and quality:

  • Is the submission well structured and, in the case of articles and videos, cover who, what, where, why, when, and how?
  • Does the article or video have a beginning, middle and end?
  • In the cases of photographs and video, is the picture/video technically and artistically well done ie. is it well composed, of high quality and impactful?

Fair, balanced and objective reporting:

  • Is the piece (article or video) balanced and fair in terms of representing different sides of an argument prior to offering a potential solution?
  • Does it quote and use real, credible sources?
  • Is scientific or statistical reporting accurate and supported by sources/ footnotes?
  • Is the photograph or video a fair representation, i.e. the subject or audience has not been manipulated? Editorial alternations to photos or video (including but not limited to colour, contrast, definition, shadows, highlights, cropping, levelling, etc.) are permissible, as long as these alterations do NOT alter the reality of the subject or object of the photo/ video.

Informative and well researched:

  • Does the submission cover relevant historical, economic, social and/or political implications and possible consequences?
  • Does it make a link to the bigger global picture?
  • Is the solution thoroughly explained, well argued and justified?
  • Is the use of illustration, pictures, supporting paragraphs, subtitles, etc., well thought through?

Originality, style and independence:

  • Is the piece original in its scope or style i.e. has the participant picked a challenging topic or created an innovative or moving piece?
  • Did the participant leave the school grounds i.e. engage in field work and interview people in person as well as on the telephone, not just use or quote online sources?


  • Has the piece disseminated through minimum two media outlets/events including internal school channels? (Eg. Newspaper, magazine, radio, television, social media, exhibition, assembly presentation, school newsletter, school event etc)
  • Participants need to state the dissemination (genre of media outlet etc) that has been done.


Please ensure all entries follow legal requirements for copyright.  For more information regarding copyright please click here. For full terms and conditions of the YRE competition please click here.


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