It’s time to clean up! World Clean Up Day – September 18 – is a time for communities all over the world to gather and clean our planet. According to National Geographic, an estimated 79 percent of plastic waste ends up in landfills or as litter in the environment. Much of this waste will make its way into the ocean, where it will pollute the world’s largest natural habitat and harm sea life. It’s a lot of waste. But if we all work together, we can clean it up.

What is World Cleanup Day?

With 180 countries involved, the movement is the planet’s biggest single-day civic action to tackle the global waste crisis. The movement is growing — consisting of 50 million volunteers around the world. In 2020, 11 million people across the world united to clean up the planet in a single day. 

“World Cleanup Day is not just about cleanups,” the movement states on its website. “It’s a strong and unique network of doers who share the vision of the waste-free world and believe that together we can clean up the world from waste. Join the World Cleanup Day on 18th September 2021!”

Як ви можете взяти участь?

Organize a cleanup event near you. World Clean Up Day recommends following ці кроки:

  1. Pick a site to clean up, run a risk assessment, determine how to clean up and any tools you will need
  2. Make a plan for how you will clean up and dispose of the waste. Contact local municipalities and recycling organizations for permissions
  3. Create a team and contact local media
  4. Organize volunteer insurance and get parental permissions from team members under 18 years old
  5. Hand out clean up materials and divide your team into groups.  Determine what areas these groups will clean up  
  6. Переходьте правила безпеки and give out sanitary items like soap and water
  7. Instruct teams to collect all man-made materials 
  8. When the clean up begins, sort the waste into different groups, including that which can be recycled 
  9. Contact police if any potentially dangerous, stolen, or abandoned items are discovered 
  10. Weigh, measure, and properly dispose of the waste
  11. Report results to national team or coordinators 
  12. Share photos of the event on social media 

Don’t want to organize a clean-up? Find a cleanup group у вашому регіоні. 

Can’t participate in person? Join Digital Clean Up Day (coming in 2022).

Also, check out the IEEE TryEngineering lesson plan, Recycle Sorter, to teach students about the challenges waste management centers face and different methods they use to sort recycling.