Millions of volunteers around the world will unite on September 15 to clean up roads, parks, beaches, forests, and riversides, with the aim of not only moving towards better waste handling, but also raising awareness both locally and globally about the severity of the situation. World Cleanup Day is a civic action empowered by technology – the World Cleanup app.
The World Cleanup app enables anyone to quickly map the waste in their neighborhood. The app also lets users create a cleanup event in a certain area for September 15, making them responsible for preparing and executing the specific event, including finding the best way to manage the collected waste.
“In Serbia, the event will be organized in 194 municipalities, with the participation of utility companies, the civil sector, and businesses,” Dragana Katić, national coordinator of Junior Chamber International (JCI), told Balkan Green Energy News.
JCI, an international organization of young leaders and entrepreneurs, is a global partner in organizing the event, which will take place in 150 countries worldwide, with 380 million volunteers expected to take part. To apply to take part in World Cleanup Day, one can either fill out a form or do it via the volonter.rs platform. The Ministry of Environmental Protection has expressed its support for the event in Serbia, Katić says.
“80% of the plastic that floats today in our oceans, has come from the land, so we need to start there by working hand-in-hand with local communities,” says Heidi Solba, one of the leaders of the Let’s Do It movement and part of the World Cleanup Day organizing team. According to a study published in 2015 in the journal Science, an estimated 8 million metric tons of plastic waste end up in oceans every year, and the quantity could multiply tenfold in the business-as-usual scenario.
The organizer of World Cleanup Day is a civic-led mass movement Let’s Do It Foundation. The movement was born in Estonia in 2008 when 50,000 people cleaned up the entire country in just five hours. To date, nearly 140 countries and 20 million people have already joined the efforts to clean up illegal waste in their neighborhoods. The Trash Hero movement is also a global partner in organizing the event.