World cleanup day - Maailmakoristuspäev

World cleanup day

World Cleanup Day

World Cleanup Day is taking place this year on 15 September.

It is the world’s largest civic initiative, originating in and led from Estonia.

Countries around the world have joined in on the event and will be cleaning up the globe, all on the same day, with Estonia spearheading the event. Almost 140 countries have joined so far.

Let’s do it! World Cleanup Day, which this year forms part of the programme of events celebrating Estonia’s centenary, is the largest gift from the Estonian people to the world on the occasion of the country’s 100th anniversary.

The worldwide clean-up day will circle the globe with the sun – starting in New Zealand at 10:00 and ending 36 hours later in Hawaii. The event will begin at midnight on 15 September, Estonian time.

The headquarters of the event will be in Tallinn, where all of the results, information, images, etc. will come together. A global television broadcast will be conducted from the headquarters in Tallinn.

Millions of people at the same time will take a step towards a cleaner environment, while also drawing attention to the global refuse problem and seeking solutions to it.

The Estonian focus on the day will be on forests, beaches, lake shores and riverbanks.



The mapping of waste around the world began back in May using a specialised World Cleanup app.

The purpose of mapping is to create a ‘waste database’ to help in planning the logistics of the clean-up and help visualise the extent of the refuse problem. This information is also necessary for researchers, who can use the data to analyse and develop solutions to reduce the amount of waste around the world. A separate global Let’s do it! team of scientists has been formed who will keep working with the gathered data in the future.


Facts about the refuse problem

According to the International Solid Waste Association (ISWA), around 4 billion tons of waste is created every year, with 1.6 billion of it being household waste.

Around 3.5 billion people around the world don’t have access to waste treatment systems, which means that their garbage can end up in the environment, including oceans via rivers or the air itself via burning.

According to the assessment of Global Waste Management, millions of tons of illegal waste is dumped into our oceans every year. 80% of the waste floating around in the oceans comes from the land.

This is why the refuse problem is a hot topic in developed and developing countries alike. Although a number of associations are monitoring the waste situation in different parts of the world, limited knowledge of waste amounts and locations hinders any effective means of dealing with the refuse problem.