Every year, volunteers and communities worldwide come together on World Cleanup Day to spread awareness of our global waste crisis, and to – literally – clean up the world. This year, on 16 September 2023 it was no different. However, approaches were.
World Cleanup Day is a worldwide project which has existed for years, although it remains a bit unclear when it first started officially. On their own website, the idea goes back to 2008, and is now the biggest ‘peacetime civic movement in human history’ which unites 197 countries across the globe to maintain a clean planet. Throughout the years, the campaign has brought together millions of people, peaking in 2019 with 21.2 million people.
One campaign, two different examples
Two countries who gladly participated this year were Vietnam and Denmark.
In Vietnam, The Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment collaborated with the Vietnam Farmers’ Union Central Committee and Bac Ninh provincial People’s Committee and held a ceremony in Thuan Thuan town, to celebrate the day.
Vice Chairman of the Central Executive Committee of the Vietnam Farmers’ Union Dinh Khac Dinh spoke at the ceremony and asked ministries, departments and agencies to ‘continue to launch community movements for environmental sanitation, tree planting, and improving the environment in urban areas, residential areas and surrounding areas, especially on lakes, rivers and canals.’
Afterwards, more than 700 people came together to collect waste and plant trees at the national historical and cultural relic site of Kinh Duong Vuong temple and tomb complex.
Supporting from a kayak
In Denmark, different locations were published on a national electronic map through the Danish website of World Clean Up Day. Anyone could then show up and help clean up the designated area.
Politicians were also kayaking in the canals of Copenhagen to collect trash. One of them was Anne Paulin, Environmental Spokesperson in the Danish Parliament.
“It’s scary how much plastic ends up in our natural environment, where it breaks down into microplastics or ends up in the stomachs of fish and animals. We have a political responsibility to do so, but each of us can also make a difference,” Paulin wrote in a Facebook post after her kayak trip.