World Cleanup 2012 starts this weekend: actions in Portugal, Slovenia and Tunisia

On 24th of March, the global civic action named World Cleanup 2012 will be launched by massive cleanup days in Portugal and Slovenia, followed by a cleanup action in Tunisia a day after. The series of cleanup days, carried out in more than 80 countries will continue through the 6-month period of World Cleanup 2012, ending on 25th of September 2012.

The aim of the action is to solve illegal dumping problem on a local and global level both short and long term – by engaging large part of the society to the cleanup activity on the action day, raising the issues related to illegal dumping and engaging both experts, political and local leaders to find more sustainable systemic solutions. The initiators of the action are coming from the international civic movement Let’s Do It! – working to join people’s efforts all over the world to make a clean and healthy environment a reality.

Two countries, who are organizing the first cleanups on 24th  – Portugal and Slovenia, are doing it the second time around. Portuguese organizers are looking to engage as many volunteers as first time, in 2010 – 100 000 people, to clean up enormous amount of illegal dumpsites all over the country. Carlos Evaristo, one of the six initiators behind the action in Portugal, says: “This time around, getting the support of the local municipalities, has been more difficult. It’s clear that they simply have much less resources at hand to help us.” Evaristo together with more than 100 national and local coordinating volunteers have worked for 6 months to prepare for the big cleanup, looking to pick up about 15 000 tons of waste on the 24th.

Slovenia is sweeping up the waste also second time around – being the current record holder in the movement, by engaging shocking 14% of the population to the action in 2010, this time they are set on at least repeating the record by engaging 250 000 thousand waste pickers for the day. “Our aim is to help spread awareness on environmental issues and promote voluntary work through our action,” says the head of communication, Polonca Štritof. She adds that the team is also looking to aid in a positive and long-term change in the environmental legislation in Slovenia.

Tunisia, who is organizing the cleanup action on 25th of March, has nowhere to look back. The vibrant team has worked hard and fast in a record time of just 6 weeks to gather together 22 different cities all over Tunisia for a joint cleanup day. The turbulence in the country’s recent past has not held the organizers back. Instead they see this action as a way to further express their ownership of their home: “People came together to disengage a dictator, and now, we must come together again, to disengage the pollution in our country,” says one of the cleanup initiators, Wassim Chaabane. He admits that the preparation period for the action has been very intense, requiring them to act big and fast: “To introduce the action and raise the issue, we organized a flashmob on 17th of March in the city centre. More than 5000 people participated from boys to girls, from young to old. The idea behind it was that all the people were dancing, until one boy dropped a paper on the ground, then the whole world stopped and stood still. Only after a girl picked the litter up and placed it in the bin, did the dance continue,” said Chaabane. Tunisian team is working together closely with local municipalities to make sure the collected waste gets handled safely: “The municipality, the government will help us to get rid of the garbage and they will move it to a controlled discharge,” said Chaabane.

World Cleanup 2012 action calendar can be found here: https://www.letsdoitworld.org/cleanup_dates

More information

PORTUGAL

Carlos Evaristo, initiator
Phone: +351 919 000 693
E-mail: [email protected]
Homepage: http://www.amoportugal.org/
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/LimparPortugal.org

SLOVENIA

Polonca Štritof, head of communications
Očistimo Slovenijo 2012
Phone: +386 51 628 225
E-mail: [email protected]
Homepage: www.ocistimo.si
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Ekologi-brez-meja/105187989529859

TUNISIA

Wassim Chaabane, initiator
Phone: +216 22 991 969
E-mail: [email protected]
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/club.environnement