Clean Up the World: waste speaks to us

Clean Up the World: waste speaks to us

September 13, 2019

Clean Up the World: waste speaks to us

The campaign will arrive in Italy between 20 and 22 September. The aim is not only to clean up cities but also to collect data on pollution sources and raise awareness among young generations

Clean Up the World is an environmental initiative based on volunteer work conceived by Ian Kiernan and Kim McKay, who in 1993 submitted a proposal to UNEP (United Nations Environment Programme) to turn a project, which at the time was only a local Australian project, into a global movement. Starting in Sydney, Clean Up the World has now spread to 130 countries, where more than 35 million volunteers are actively engaged in cleaning up the rubbish in the area where they live, as a way to help better preserve our planet. Italy is also playing a part (last year more than 600,000 volunteers were involved) by supporting the Clean Up the World campaign, coordinated by Legambiente in cooperation with RAI and sponsored by the Ministry for Environment, Land and Sea Protection and the Ministry of Education, University and Research. This year’s Clean Up the World will take place from 20 to 22 September 2019.

A source of data for researchers

Clean Up the World and other similar international initiatives are a great opportunity not only to remove waste from streets but also to make citizens aware of environmental issues, as well as serving as a source of data for researchers and policy makers. In fact, analyzing the waste collected can help us better understand pollution dynamics and become more aware of the role we play in the waste cycle (and how to intervene), which will allow us to come up with specific solutions, both as individuals and as communities. For instance, thanks to Clean Up the World, in 1997 the Prefecture and Civil Protection of Crotone worked together on the first draft of the municipal flood risk emergency plan and on a draft of the seismic risk emergency plan, whereas in 2002 in Priolo, Syracuse, an important city monument that had been left in a state of neglect was cleaned up and reopened to the public. Over the years, the volunteers of Clean Up the World have often come across illegal dumps, which were cleaned up thanks to everyone’s hard work. The Clean Up the World campaign has often produced extraordinary results: in 2013, for example, 3,319 tons of iron, 566 tons of plastic and 147 tons of copper were collected in the Piedmont region alone, and were then converted into energy. 

In order to prevent the problem of waste being dumped carelessly, we all need to do our share: on the one hand, citizens, who favor the re-use of resources by embracing a healthy sustainable lifestyle and collecting waste separately and, on the other hand, municipalities, which have the opportunity to fuel a circular economy by focusing on virtuous management and intensifying information campaigns; finally, schools, which are called upon to promote environmental awareness and a sense of civic duty among tomorrow’s leaders. 

Learn more about similar topics:

Find out more about Food and Education

This website uses profiling cookies, including third-party ones, to send you advertising and offer you services which reflect the preferences you have shown during browsing. If you continue to browse the website by accessing any area or selecting any element of it (such as an image or a link), you consent to use of cookies.
Click on the following link to view our extended cookie policy, which provides a description of the categories present and the links with the personal data policies of the third-party processors. You can also decide which cookies to authorise or whether to deny consent for all or only certain cookies.   Continues