Still don't know what to do on September 17th? Would you like to socialize, but also feel the urge to do something good for your environment? Then take part in the World Clean Up Day!
What exactly is World Clean Up Day?
World Clean Up Day is one of the largest garbage collection and clean-up campaigns in the world - with the aim of eliminating pollution. It aims to create more awareness of the extent of the global waste crisis. Because it not only threatens the environment, but also the lives of millions of people and living beings worldwide.
Every year since 2018, at the same time, more precisely on the third Saturday in September, people from all over the world come together to clean their cities, parks, beaches and forests of garbage. According to WorldCleanUpDay.de , around 14 million people worldwide in 191 countries took part in World Cleanup Day last year (2021) and together removed over 53,000 tons of waste from nature.
Why clean-ups are so important
That sounds all well and good, but is such a day of action actually worth anything? We clearly say YES. Of course, we don't solve the problem with just one day a year. But we are becoming aware of how much waste is generated in our direct environment every day and, above all, what some people throw away carelessly. In the best-case scenario, this awareness means that you and I would rather wait until the next trash can is in sight than simply throw the candy wrappers on the floor just because it's unwieldy. In addition, not only the big ones clean up on these days. Little people are often there too. In this way we support, hopefully from the start, a new generation of responsible people who are willing to act together to find sustainable solutions for a clean future.
numbers, data, facts
The reasons are all still too emotional for you and you prefer to make your decisions based on logic and statistics? No problem, maybe the following fact check will convince you .
- Of all the plastics ever made, only 11% has been recycled, 15% has been incinerated and 74% end up in landfills or in the environment .
- Cigarette butts are made of plastic and are the most commonly found litter in the environment. No wonder, because 75% of all cigarette filters produced annually end up in nature.
- By 2030 we will have more cigarette butts than fish in the sea . By 2050, there could therefore be more plastic than fish in the oceans.
- Plastic debris tends to accumulate at the center of ocean gyres. The North Pacific Gyre, for example, has accumulated the so-called " Great Pacific Garbage Patch ", which is now estimated to be about three times the size of France .
- Plastic has been found in seafood, honey, beer and table salt, among other things. 90% of the salts sold contain plastic. In other words, people eat the weight of a credit card of plastic per week .
- "We are the last generation that can prevent irreparable damage to our planet," said UN General Assembly President María Fernanda Espinosa Garcés, stressing that there are only 11 years left to avert catastrophe .
And that's just a fraction of the facts we could have given you. If these facts don't convince you that we need to act, then I don't know what will either.
At this point a short thank you to WorldCleanUpDay.de for compiling the information.
We are there - you too?
In any case, the action convinced us, even without all the frightening findings and future forecasts. That's why we did our first little clean up this year. The six of us, equipped with garbage bags, gloves and grabs, walked through the parks and streets around our office in Cologne and within two hours we picked up all kinds of garbage. In the end, a total of 14 kg of rubbish came together. These were picked up the next day by the waste management company (AWB) Köln GmbH and professionally disposed of. At this point, a big thank you to the AWB Cologne for providing garbage bags and gloves free of charge and for the problem-free organization.
If our post has spurred you on to take part in a clean up, then see if there's an event near you . For anyone interested in the Cologne area who also wants to collect rubbish outside of the global clean-up campaign, we recommend using the AWB “Kölle putzmunter” service.
Let us draw attention to the problem of plastic pollution together and through our commitment and sensitize everyone around us to the topic.