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


  1. The piece must investigate a local issue relating to litter, propose possible solutions through an expert or different local stakeholders, and report the findings through writing, photos or video.
  2. The submission must be the correct length, size and format, etc.  See specific guidelines for Articles, Photographs and Video below.
  3. The piece must have been disseminated to local audiences through at least three different outlets.  It is mandatory to supply evidence of dissemination by providing links or pictures.
  4. There must be a short explanation of the link between the topic and one chosen United Nations Sustainable Development Goal.
  5. Any non-original pictures and music which are been used in the Article and Video must have accreditation and permission for usage.
  6. Students may work individually or in a group of up to three people and may submit more than one piece

Additionally, see specific rules below for each YRE category.


  • Written submissions must not exceed 1,000 words in length and may include illustrations and photographs. The source of all non-original illustrations and photographs must be given.
  • An article must be accompanied by a title of not more than 140 characters.
  • Articles must be sent digitally in Microsoft Word or .pdf format with accompanying pictures following the photographic guidelines below.
  • Original photographs should also be sent separately (see in what format under photographs below).
  • Max. three pictures including infographics are allowed with captions of max. 20 words for each.


Two subcategories: Reportage or Campaign. There will be separated winners in each subcategory.

  • A single photograph must be submitted
  • A photograph must be accompanied by a title of not more than 140 characters
  • It is mandatory for Reportage photography to attach a short description of no more than 100 words to explain the link with environmental sustainability and/or a solution to the problem and/or issue. The text attached must make sense of what the story is in relation to the photo.  The text should give the context, the photo should tell the story.
  • It is NOT mandatory for Campaign photography to attach a short description, but it should tell a story by itself. If an entry includes a short description, it has to follow the same condition as the Reportage photography mentioned above
  • Photographs must be submitted digitally as .jpg or .png format with a preferable resolution of not less than 150-300 dpi.

Reportage photography, or what’s also known as documentary photography, is a photographic style that captures a moment or event in a narrative fashion, i.e., an image that tells a story.

Campaign photography, or experimental photography is described as using alternative techniques. A photographer who does experimental photography uses techniques that are not common with usual photography or digital photography. It is a type of staged photo.  The image aims at a particular lifestyle or value and uses persuasive techniques to promote the author’s point of view.


Two subcategories: Reportage or Campaign. There will be separated winners in each subcategory.

  • Videos must be no more than 3 minutes long including credits roll* and in documentary, reporter/interview style (recommended) or public service announcement (PSA) is allowed.
  • A video must be accompanied by a title (not more than 140 characters).
  • The format must be compatible with supported YouTube file formats.
  • Background music is only recommended for the campaign type of video.

Reportage video is based on news, event, history, etc., based on direct observation thorough research and documentation.

Campaign video aims at a particular lifestyle or value and uses persuasive techniques to promote the author’s point of view.

*It is not mandatory to include credits roll.


Judges may assign a score of 0-5 based on how well the submission meets five further criteria. Points are: 5, Excellent; 4, Very Well; 3, Well; 2, Fairly Well; 1, Qualified; and if it does not qualify 0 points. Participants are encouraged to meet as many of these additional criteria as possible, to improve their work and chances of winning. It is not, however, compulsory to meet these criteria.

  1. Composition i.e. form, structure and quality
  • The submission has to be well structured and, in the case of articles and videos, cover who, what, where, why, when, and how.
  • The article or video has to have a beginning, middle and end.
  • In the case of photographs and video, the picture/video technically and artistically has to be well done i.e. is it well composed, of high quality and impactful.
  1. Fair, balanced and objective reporting
  • The piece (article or video) has to be balanced and fair in terms of representing different sides of an argument prior to offering a suggestion of potential solution.
  • The quotes used have to be from real, credible, sources.
  • Scientific or statistical reporting has to be accurate and supported by sources/footnotes.
  • The photograph or video is a fair representation, and 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 alternations do NOT alter the reality of the subject or object of the photo/video.
  1. Informative and well researched
  • The submission has to cover relevant historical, economic, social and/or political implications and possible consequences.
  • It has to make a link to the bigger global picture.
  • The author should describe how their submission relates to one of the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
  • The solution presented has to be thoroughly explained, well-argued and justified.
  • The use of illustrations, pictures, supporting paragraphs, subtitles, etc., has to be thought through.
  1. Originality, style and independence
  • The piece is original in its scope or style i.e. has the participant picked a challenging topic or created an innovative or moving piece.
  • The participants have to 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.
  1. Dissemination
  • Dissemination through minimum three media outlets/events including internal school channels.
  • Participants need to state the dissemination (genre of media outlet etc.) that has been done. (The evidence to the media channels has to be submitted with the application for reference)

In addition

The Jury is at liberty not to award in the case of too few submissions and to give more than one award in the case of exceptional entries in one or more age categories. The Jury will also give points to journalistic and environmental aspects of the submissions based on their professional backgrounds.


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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