• Pirika aims to solve environmental problems with the power of science and technology

    Pirika is a start-up created in 2011 in the research facilities of Kyoto University in Japan. We aim to solve environmental problems with the power of science and technology. Our first step is to solve the global litter problem -- for which no effective solution has been found and which affects everyone in the world.

  • News

    Pirika's microplastic survey method was published as a peer-reviewed article in Water, a journal of water resources management, ecology and science and technology. Detail

    The results of our microplastic and drone surveys are now available on the UN Environment Programme's CounterMEASURE project website. Detail

  • How You Can Help Us

    Pirika is tackling the global litter problem, which poses a significant threat to our environment. We need your help to eliminate litter from the world.


    You can help by using the free smartphone app Pirika to pick up litter in your neighborhood. Pirika, used in 111 countries, is the most widely-used anti-litter smartphone app in the world.


    Our free Pirika program for companies can provide you with data visualization services to evaluate your corporate litter clean-up efforts and help with your PR. We are open to collaboration, including on advertisement, that leverages our technology.


    We can help you energize your clean-up efforts using the power of SNS and provide you with litter research and other related consulting services. We have worked with Fukui Prefecture, Minato City (Tokyo), Meguro City (Tokyo), Kawasaki City (Kanagawa) and Maebashi City (Gunma Prefecture).

    Non-profit and other organizations

    Our free program for organizations can provide you with data visualization services to evaluate your litter clean-up efforts. We are also looking for organizations interested in collaborating with us on litter research.


    We are looking for researchers who are researching solutions to eliminate litter using the data we generate. Please visit here for detail.

  • Our Services

    Eliminate litter from the world using the power of social media

    Pirika is the most widely used anti-litter smartphone app, and has over 1,800,000 users across 111 countries. Over 200 million pieces of litter have been picked up through Pirika. Please visit here for detail.

    Design litterless cities using smartphone

    Takanome is a program that maps and measures litter using a smartphone. We aim to contribute to designing litterless cities by evaluating anti-litter efforts with our cutting-edge research and providing other consulting services related to urban development. Please visit here for detail.

    Reducing Ocean Microplastic Pollution

    We have started to develop a method to capture samples of microplastics as they flow toward the sea. Rivers, ports, sewage plants -- every point of outflow has its own unique conditions. We invented Albatross as a flexible research device that can be used under all of these unique conditions. Please visit here for detail.

  • Donation to Pirika

    Pirika is supported by a large number of companies, governments and individuals. Please donate to us and let's make the world a cleaner place!!

  • The Pirika Story (I)

    How traveling around the world made me wake up to the problem of litter

    In 2010, I was a graduate student thinking hard about how to tackle environmental problems, which was something I had been thinking about since I was a child.


    I decided to travel around the world to see with my own eyes what environmental problems were affecting the world, rather than just rely on information from books, the TV and the Internet.


    Then I saw that litter was a significant threat to the environment at every place I traveled to. I also thought of how I might be able to eliminate litter from the world -- through a cheap technological solution. When I came back to Japan, I teamed up with my fellow graduate school friends to develop Pirika, the anti-litter smartphone app. "Pirika" means clean in the Ainu language.


    The Pirika Story (2)

    How the smartphone app Pirika was born

    On May 15, 2011, the smartphone app Pirika was launched, having been developed by Naoya Takahashi, now our Director, and the rest of the development team. The number of litter pieces picked up during the first month after launch was only 100. Even so, I was moved by the fact that people I did not know at all were picking up litter using the app.


    I moved out of my then house to save on rent, and traveled between Tokyo and Kyoto in search of investors. We continued to make improvements to Pirika, and the amount of litter picked up through the app gradually increased.


    We incorporated Pirika, Inc. in November 2011.

    The Prika Story (3)

    How we expanded into the litter research business

    When the cumulative number of litter pieces picked up through Pirika reached 3 million in 2014, we began to have doubts about our mission. We started asking ourselves whether Pirika was actually contributing to litter reduction over the long run in a sustainable manner. We realized that we did not have an answer to that question. This is because there were no reliable quantitative litter data, and there was no established method of litter research.


    We believed that there was no point in sacrificing ourselves to try to solve the litter problem when our approach might not be effective. We also did not want our approach to be proven to be ineffective by someone else. That is when embarked on a new mission.


    The Pirika Story (4)
    Takanome, the litter research program

    Despite our conviction, we struggled to develop a sustainable and scalable litter research method. Our initial research methods required more manpower. The downside of relying on manpower was not only the cost and time involved, but also the inconsistency and human error that arose in conducting research.
    One day, Naoya had a thought -- What if we recorded on video litter on streets and used the latest machine learning technology to analyze the litter. He took this inspiration to develop a program on his own. We called the program Takanome, which means hawk eye. Once the program was developed, we first hired 20 people to categorize litter captured on videos, in order to teach the program’s artificial intelligence.
    Immediately after we launched the program, we began to receive requests for our Takanome-based services from governments. Thus began our mission to gather information necessary to identify the root cause of litter.

    The Pirika Story (5)

    Where we are headed

    Four years have passed since our incorporation. The cumulative number of litter pieces picked up through Pirika has exceeded 25 million. Our research business is expanding, and our revenue and profit are growing.


    However, we have not solved a single environmental problem. Litter continues to grow at an alarming rate, and we still do not have a complete picture of how bad the problem is. And there are many other environmental problems that need to be tackled.


    We remain passionate about our mission, just as we were when we first started out. We are working hard to do our part in helping humanity overcome what we believe is a growing environmental crisis.


    CEO Message

    The month of May, which is the month when we launched our smartphone app Pirika, reminds me of my grandfather, who always told me that I should do what I liked to do and understood me better than anyone else. He left this world five days after Pirika was launched.

    I love science. I used to tell my grandfather from a young age that I wanted to solve our environmental issues — which were created by science and may be our greatest threat of the 21st century — with the power of science. Pirika Inc. was born to make this dream come true.

    I started on this journey by first tackling litter and hope to eventually address any environmental issue. It may take years and my path may be circuitous, but I will always move forward toward this goal, one step at a time.

    Fujio Kojima

  • Media

    AOL News / TechWave / CNETJapan / Tech Crunch / lifehacker / PennOlson / StartupDating / greenz.jp / Social Enterprise Buzz / DailyGreen / WiWoGreen / others


    Asia Smartphone App Contest 2014 Creative Lifetyle Certificate of Merit / Eco Summit Berlin Eco Summit Award 2013 1st Prize / eco japan cup 2012 / Infinity Ventures Summit 2011 Fall Launch Pad 4th / SF New Tech Japan Night 2nd Prize / Open Network Lab 3rd Best Team Award / others


  • Pirika Association (non-profit)

    Room No. 1308 ShibuyaHomes, 2-1 Udagawa-cho, Shibuya, Tokyo, 150-0042, Japan


    Fujio Kojima (Executive Director)

    Naoya Takahashi (Director)
    Takayuki Murakoshi (Director)

    Kenji Hosokawa (Auditor)

  • Contact us