Let's clean up Europe!
Image © Ove Caspersen/EEA
The initiative 'Let's Clean Up Europe!' is organised by the European Week for Waste Reduction. It has a two-fold purpose: it aims to clean up Europe's environment and to make European citizens aware of the volume of waste discarded in their local neighbourhood. Find out how to sign up.
Millions of tonnes of litter end up in the oceans, beaches, forests and other natural areas each year. Careless littering and poor waste management are most to blame, but the problem is party caused by the way we consume goods and packaging designed to be used briefly and discarded.
The European Environment Agency (EEA) is supporting those cleaning up beaches with a new app, 'Marine LitterWatch'. The app allows users to record the amount of different types of litter that they find on the beach. The data will be collected in a single European data set, documenting the extent of the problem. The app is now available for Apple and Android devices, and there is also a web interface to support communities in setting-up and managing their events and data.
The problem of marine litter is currently poorly understood. Sadly, evidence suggests that it is getting worse, with huge swirling patches of waste across five oceans. The EEA hopes that the data submitted via Marine LitterWatch will help to map the extent of the problem.