World Cleanup Day - A Small Change With Big Impact

One Day. One Planet. One Goal. Get together with your friends and family to join the rebellion against rubbish…

What if there was a day where everyone in the world went outside to clean up their local area? Well, if there’s one day to do it, it’s World Cleanup Day. Set up in 2008 in Estonia, the team at ‘Let’s Do It! World’ saw 4% of the world’s population collect a huge amount of waste in a matter of a few hours - since then, they’ve been growing the movement for over 10 years. This year, on September 21st, volunteers and partners worldwide will come together to pick up litter from our beaches, rivers, forests and streets.

Last year, 17 million people in 158 countries across 24 time zones took part in World Cleanup Day 2018 - together, collecting over 88 million kilograms of waste. To put it in perspective, that’s the average weight of 880 blue whales. What’s more, 61% of that waste was plastic. 

Why are cleanups important?

We all do our part to minimise waste, but it’s important to dispose of what we do produce in a way that’s safe and as sustainable as it possibly can be. When rubbish is dropped on the ground or in our oceans, it degrades into microplastics and can end up in our water and food systems - causing harm that could otherwise have been avoided. 

Keep it Clean Plan

World Cleanup Day is just one part of the Lets Do It Foundation ‘Keep it Clean’ plan. With it, they aim to give people, communities, organisations and governments an action plan on how to keep our planet waste-free long beyond World Cleanup Day. 

We need to turn linear models into circular ones, hence maximising reuse, repair, refurbishment, recycling, composting, and whatever keeps the value of materials. We not only have to minimise the need for disposal but also reduce the demand for new primary raw materials, making production and consumption patterns and lifestyles sustainable. The Keep It Clean Plan, therefore, aims that one day the word “waste” is something from the embarrassing time when we couldn’t sustainably use our resources.” -  Eva Truuverk CEO of Let’s Do It Foundation

So, how do I get involved in World Clean Up Day?

Luckily, there are lots of ways you can get involved - either this year, or in future years to come. 

Become a Cleanup Volunteer

Head to their contact page and type in your country name to find your World Cleanup Day leader. Get in touch with them directly to volunteer!

Organise Your Own Cleanup

Again, get in touch with your country’s cleanup leader, then register your event and download the toolkit. Then, all you need to do is shout about it from the rooftops and get as many people involved as you can!

Become a Partner and Supporter

Just like our friends, Plastic Soup Foundation, you can become a partner and supporter of World Cleanup Day, spreading the word and using your network to make it even bigger than ever. 

“World Cleanup Day harnesses the power of everyday people to achieve incredible things by joining together. Its beauty lies in cooperation and collaboration: building bridges between disparate communities, and including all levels of society - from citizens, to business, to government.” - World Clean Up Day

Learn more about World Cleanup Day, how you can get involved and follow them on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for updates on World Cleanup Day 2019.