Every year, millions of tonnes of litter end up in Europe's streets, oceans, beaches, forests and natural areas. And every year millions of Europeans get out in their neighborhoods to clean up in voluntary actions. "Let's Clean up Europe" is an initiative that aims to encourage more such actions, to raise awareness about the scale of the litter and waste problems, and to encourage changes in behaviour. The event is being coordinated by the European Week for Waste Reduction (EWWR).
Environment Commissioner Janez Potočnik said: "Civic clean up movements are growing across Europe and we want to make them feel part of a European event. We have put together a network of national contact points in 21 countries to let people know what is going on in their neighbourhood, and what they can do to help. It's a hands-on initiative, so let's get our boots and gloves on. We all want to live in clean neighbourhoods, so together Let's Clean Up Europe."
A number of clean-up campaigns have been organised in Europe in recent years to tackle the litter problem. “Let’s Clean Up Europe!” will bring together these initiatives in a Europe-wide clean-up event to take place on the same day all over the continent, reaching as many citizens as possible.
‘Let’s Clean Up Europe!’ is a truly bottom-up event that aims to inform and mobilise the public into cleaning up their environment for themselves. Experience shows that people are often surprised at how much waste is being generated and dumped in their neighbourhood. And litter can be valuable. Paper, glass, metals, and plastic can all be used again or recycled if collected. This reduces environmental impact, creates economic opportunities and jobs, by helping to push Europe towards a more circular economy.
The Commission is promoting the event, but the clean-ups are truly independent, local and citizen-led. In many cases local authorities, NGOs businesses and schools will be getting involved or coordinating actions. Events are taking place in 15 EU Member States, as well as in Andorra, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Norway, Serbia, and Turkey. To find a local action in your Member State, see the website of the national organizer in your Member State.
View the Dive Against Debris map to see what divers are finding underwater and get involved.