Let's clean up Europe!

News Published 06 May 2014 Last modified 21 Jun 2016
1 min read
Photo: © Ove Caspersen/EEA
Volunteers across Europe will pick up litter on Saturday 10 May, as part of a coordinated EU Clean Up Day. The event is particularly timely, as there are growing concerns that rubbish polluting Europe's land and sea harms wildlife and may ultimately affect human health.

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.

Marine LitterWatch

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.


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