Millions of people participate in World Cleanup Day

By Austin Downs

This past Saturday, September 21, an estimated 18.6 million people across 179 countries and territories participated in World Cleanup Day. Commencing the day after an estimated 4 million people, predominantly youth, participated in a global climate strike, World Cleanup Day continued to build on the momentum of greater action in the face of the climate crisis.

Around the world, participants of all ages and backgrounds tackled out-of-control waste, educated others on the perils of single-use plastic and encouraged individuals and governments to change behavior and policies regarding consumption and waste.

As a presenting partner to World Cleanup Day, we wanted to highlight several countries’ participation and impact. In addition to Let’s Do It World, the organization behind World Cleanup Day, countless participating groups from Saturday’s cleanups will be participating in Earth Day Network’s Great Global Cleanup campaign in support of the 50th Anniversary of Earth Day on April 22, 2020.


Across 1,200 cities and towns, more than 500,000 people participated in the cleanup, and by the day’s end, nearly 6,000 tons of waste had been collected. From more than 60 cleanup sites in Sao Paolo to cleanups within the Amazon Rainforest, the event was Brazil’s largest cleanup event in its history. With involvement from numerous NGOs, the country’s ministry of the environment, and some of Brazil’s largest private companies, the country exemplified what can be achieved when various sectors of society unite together toward a common goal.


From Kolkata to Assam, thousands of volunteers came out to continue their cleanup efforts. Led by staff from Earth Day Network – India, their events brought further attention to the extent of plastic pollution.


Near Inya Lake, Yangon, a joint effort between the Earth Day Network and Trash Hero saw 30 volunteers collect 70 kilograms of waste. Way to go!


In Lisbon, EDN affiliate Route Portugal brought out dozens of volunteers to cleanup one of the city’s most iconic beaches, collecting 37 kilograms of waste in just one hour!


Numbering more than 30,000 volunteers in 250 cities, volunteers participated in cleanups in all types of locations – from rural forests to dense urban centers.


In the capital city of Dakar, EDN affiliates hosted both a cleanup and a rally in support of the #GlobalClimateStrike, bringing out hundreds of volunteers for one of the city’s largest cleanups to date.


Across 11 time zones and 70 regions, tens of thousands of volunteers in the world’s largest landmass country participated in community cleanups. “We share a common goal, which is sustainable cleanliness … And that is why this year we are inviting everyone to hold cleanups not only on natural territories [but everywhere that waste is found], said Anastasia Nikulina, the coordinator for Let’s Do It World! – Russia, in a statement.

Austin Downs is the EDN cleanup coordinator for the Great Global Cleanup.

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Source: Earth Day Network