Different approaches to World Cleanup Day 2023

Thuan Thuan World Clean Up Day ceremony
The ceremony in Thuan Thuan. Photo: baotainguyenmoitruong.vn

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.

Anne Paulin and Henrik Beha
Anne Paulin and Henrik Beha from the organisation Plastic Change, with their bucket of trash which they collected from the canal in just one hour. Photo: Anne Paulin/Facebook

“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.

Sources: Vietnam Plus, Anne Paulin and World Clean Up

About Sofie Rønnelund

Sofie Roennelund is a journalist working with ScandAsia at the headquarters in Bangkok.

View all posts by Sofie Rønnelund

One Comment on “Different approaches to World Cleanup Day 2023”

  1. I was involved providing kayak support for a 330 m swim by the Eco mermaid Merle Liivand who is from Estonia and who has personally collected 16,000 pounds of plastic garbage while she swims. She is going to receive an award for her actions at the United Nations this week. It was very colorful and fun, and there were politicians and nonprofit organizations who came to support the event. I have some great pictures and video and audio recordings of the speeches, including the speech from the mermaid..

    Sometimes when you want attention for a cause, you have to pull out all the stops and make it entertaining and the beautiful mermaid does that very well. I have the videos and other digital files to share with anybody who is interested in picking up the story while it’s topical, it was done on one of the most dangerous beaches on the American coast line, and I actually got knocked over and broke my pedal. But I lived as you can see to tell the adventurous tale which may seem fishy but it’s not. It’s absolutely true.

    Chrismuth de Katman [email protected]

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