Saturday 19/9 is World Cleanup Day. To raise awareness about the challenge of marine litter and encourage citizens worldwide to take action, the European Commission and the European External Action Service is organising the third edition of the #EUBeachCleanup campaign. In 2019, the campaign mobilised over 40,000 volunteers at events in nearly 80 countries.
This year, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, mass gatherings are not possible in most countries. Instead, #EUBeachCleanup has been turned into a social media challenge. In partnership with the United Nations and the Smurfs, the EU is inviting everyone to “clean beaches from home” under the headline: “The ocean starts with you!”. Over four weeks, since mid-August, the campaign has promoted four simple, sustainable actions: clean your surrounding environment, reduce your water consumption, shop for less packaging & sort your rubbish. Across the world, NGOs, youth ambassadors, local authorities and social media influencers have supported the positive messages of change and helped bringing them to 10s of millions of citizens.
At the same time, in around 20 countries “live” beach cleanups will take place in the coming days to celebrate World Cleanup Day: from Japan to Côte d’Ivoire, from Turkey to Peru, from El Salvador to Gaza. In many locations, the beach cleanup events are organised alongside dedicated waste-management conferences, local awareness raising campaigns, dialogue meetings, and other forms of public outreach.
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