Over 20 million people in 180 countries and territories joined World Cleanup Day 2019

Over 20 million people in 180 countries and territories joined World Cleanup Day 2019 (www.worldcleanupday.org), Let’s Do It World, the organisation behind the event, has confirmed. This constitutes 0,3% of the world’s population making an impact and creating awareness of the global waste problem. Let’s Do It World’s ultimate goal is to involve 5% of the world’s population in cleanups. This is the tipping point to create a shift in mindsets and transition in societies – to create real and lasting change.

“I am thankful to all the people and organisations across the globe who participated and expressed their concern about the future of our planet. World Cleanup Day is an amazing tool to bring together all sectors of society to make the change happen. The transition into a sustainable world can only be achieved through deep and trustful collaboration on local, regional and global level,” said Heidi Solba, the President of Let’s Do It World.

World Cleanup Day 2019 begun in the early hours of 21 September 2019 when people on the Pacific island of Fiji started to clean their beaches. Cleanups followed the sun and swept across the planet, ending 24 hours later in Hawaii.

One country that shone brightly was Kyrgyzstan. This Central Asian country involved nearly 10% of their population in World Cleanup Day 2019, including local celebrities, government officials, partners and influencers. The country, who attracted the biggest number of participants, was Indonesia with over 9 million people. Mobilising this number of people across hundreds of islands, working with local authorities and relying on sub-team leaders was indeed a challenge. Similarly in Brazil, Teoria Verde and Limpa Brazil managed to get 1200 cities across the vast country involved and attracted over 320 thousand people to participate in cleanups, making Brazil one of the success stories of 2019.

Another success story was Mozambique, where over 350 thousand people participated, including thousands of schools across the country. The team in Mozambique, like in many other countries, works throughout the year to educate the younger generations on the harms of littering and improper waste management.

Cleanups were also organised in some very challenging circumstances. Afghanistan, Iran and Syria, which may not seem like the safest places for public gatherings, saw hundreds of thousands of participants come out to clean thanks to the local cleanup leaders working in unison with the local governments to make sure everyone is safe.

In fact, government involvement in a number of countries helped the local cleanup leaders involve very large numbers of people. 1,6 million people participated in the countrywide cleanup in India. Organising World Cleanup Day was supported by the Swachh Bharat Mission, launched by the country’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The neighbouring Pakistan engaged a whopping 2,5 million people in cleanups across the country on World Cleanup Day. Let’s Do It World’s country leader in Cambodiahas also opted to work closely with the government and this has paid off – 800 thousand people participated.

Another country, who worked with government and who actually started off World Cleanup Day 2019 a week before 21 September, was Bulgaria. The Bulgarian cleanup is organised by the country’s national broadcaster and they attracted 433 thousand people to come out and pick up trash.

Let’s Do It Italy, the team behind mobilising over 330 thousand people in the country, very appropriately included the fashion industry, which is so often scapegoated for various environmental problems. An eco fashion show took place on World Cleanup day and was a part of Milan Fashion Week, bringing the issues around fast fashion to the public eye.

Organisations from various other industries also got involved, including the insurance giant Allianz and the affordable sporting goods chain Decathlon.

The next World Cleanup Day will take place on 19 September 2020. However, before getting down to organising the next World Cleanup Day, the country teams, partners and supporters of Let’s Do It World will meet in Tallinn, Estonia from 23 to 26 January 2020 to collectively decide on the direction the organisation and World Cleanup Day will take in 2020.

World Cleanup Day 2019 was hosted by Let’s Do It Kosovo, who organised a call centre, international media centre and a live broadcast from Pristina on 21 September. World Cleanup Day 2019 global coordination is supported by the Government of Kosovo.

World Cleanup Day is attracting an increasing number of individuals, who seek opportunities to positively contribute to a cleaner planet, but hundreds of companies and organisations, too. UN Environment, UN Habitat, Fridays For Future, Allianz, Toyota, Fujitsu, Nielsen, Amadeus, Peace One Day, Trash Hero, Trash Out, Civicus, Earth Day Network and many more joined cleanup actions across the globe amongst others.

“We are immensely thankful to partners, who helped make World Cleanup Day happen and also encouraged their employees and stakeholders to participate in the biggest one-day action against waste,” said Solba.

World Cleanup Day is the largest single peacetime civic action against waste in human history, aimed at raising awareness of the scale of the global mismanaged waste crisis threatening the environment and the lives of millions of people and living beings. For more information visit: www.worldcleanupday.org

Let’s Do It World, the organisation behind World Cleanup Day, is an international NGO with member organisations and representatives in over 150 countries. The organisation tackles environmental challenges related to the global mismanaged solid waste problem by mobilising millions of positive-minded people to participate in coordinated local and global actions. Let’s Do It World is aiming for positive change, smarter choices in design, production, consumption and resource management. For more information visit: www.worldcleanupday.org

A selection of photos from cleanups across the globe is available in this album, which is being constantly updated.

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Let’s Do It World and World Cleanup Day Global Media Contact
Katrin Winter
Head of Communications
[email protected]iw.org