Let’s Declare the Year of 2018 the Year of Clean and Healthy Planet!

Let’s Do It Foundation has started a joint initiative – calling 2018 the International Year of the Clean and Healthy Planet. To increase global awareness of the overwhelming waste dumping problem in the world, Let’s Do It Foundation in partnership with a number of umbrella organisations in the world, addressed a motion to the General Secretary of the UN, H.E. Ban Ki-moon. The motion asked that the UN support such an initiative and call on countries of the world to support civic society around the world, taking action for a cleaner world, and cleaning their countries in World Cleanup Day, 8 September 2018.

The Global Waste Management Outlook report has clearly stated that the world is being overwhelmed by the uncontrolled dumping of waste. The amounts are staggering – over 4 billion tons a year – and less than 20% of this is recycled, mostly in economically advanced countries. About a third of this is not even collected, but simply dumped into rivers, burnt openly, or onto the streets and byways of townships and cities globally. An unknown quantity leaks into the oceans (ca 8 million tons of plastics a year) jeopardising marine life and marine food stocks. Whilst most developed countries have been able to invest in pollution control over the last 30 years, less developed nations are overcome by the rapidity of urbanisation and population growth and are failing to provide essential public services quickly enough to catch up with the growth of waste in their nations.

Let’s Do It Foundation is an accredited member of UNEP and unites a network of 113 countries. Let’s Do It Foundation’s new initiative calls 150 countries to join the World Cleanup Day on 8th of September 2018 with the aim to mobilize hundreds of millions of people in a single day event to clean up illegal waste. This action serves the purpose of starting a rapid change for a cleaner planet. Established in Estonia, the movement has since 2008 engaged more than 16 million people in nationwide cleanup campaigns and zero waste initiatives because tackling waste pollution, adopting sustainable waste management systems, redesigning and innovating for maximum material recovery will play a significant role in reaching the goals for sustainable development.

Letter to Ban Ki-moon, the Secretary General of the UN:

Your Excellency the Secretary General,

The Global Waste Management Outlook report (published in 2015 by UNEP and the International Solid Waste Association) has clearly stated that the world is being overwhelmed by the uncontrolled dumping of waste. The amounts are staggering – over 4 billion tons a year – and less than 20% of this is recycled, mostly in economically advanced countries. About a third of this is not even collected, but simply dumped into rivers, burnt openly, or onto the streets and byways of townships and cities globally. An unknown quantity leaks into the oceans (ca 8 million tons of plastics a year) jeapordising marine life and marine food stocks.

Whilst most developed countries have been able to invest in pollution control over the last 30 years, less developed nations are overcome by the rapidity of urbanisation and population growth and are failing to provide essential public services quickly enough to catch up with the growth of waste in their nations. The scale of the growth of pollution is damaging public health, reducing inward investment into many cities, reducing tourism, damaging food supplies, water quality and of course the global quality of air, in terms of CO2 emissions and short lived climate pollutants as well as dioxins released through uncontrolled burning.

There are many initiatives that are fighting back pollution in various parts of the world. Whilst the sophisticated conurbations of developed nations seem to have overcome the problems, not enough attention is given by public administrators in less developed nations to waste and pollution control. As we said, part of this is due to the overwhelming growth of cities, but part is due to a substantial lack of public awareness as to the risks of living in and among one’s own waste. Indeed ISWA calculate that around 65 million people live either in or adjacent to open waste dumps globally, a population the size of France and in certain domains, poor waste management is killing more people than malaria.

We want to increase global awareness, Your Excellency , of this emergency. We wish to bring the United Nations into playing a role for a cleaner and healthier planet by declaring 2018 the Year of Clean and Healthy Planet. Working together with a wide range of international, national and local stakeholders, to include but not limited to nations, cities, civil society and businesses. By this concerted effort we will finally get across the message that to live well, to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals, to give the people of the world a chance to share in the progress of development more equally, we need to live on a clean planet.

We humbly ask Your Excellency to consider the proposal to make 2018 a year in which we can mark the global fightback against pollution from uncontrolled waste. Please accept our expression of our deepest respect,

Signed by:
Let’s Do It Foundation
International Solid Waste Association
JCI International
Trash Hero World
Plastic Soup Foundation
WasteAid UK