Will the world be a cleaner place by Monday?

September 19, 2008

A boy salvages plastic materials washed ashore by waves in Manila bay November 26, 2007. Typhoon Mitag swirled out to sea on Monday after killing 8 people, destroying homes and flooding rice paddies in the Philippines. REUTERS/Cheryl Ravelo (PHILIPPINES)Will the world be a slightly less messy place by Monday?

Organisers of an annual “Clean up the World” campaign say that up to 35 million volunteers in more than 110 countries will be cleaning up trash, planting trees, working out better ways of recycling and taking part in other ways to stop pollution.

 Of course it will take a lot more than just the Sept. 19-21 blitz but beaches from Vanuatu to Brazil, or cities from Buenos Aires to Sydney may benefit a bit.

And it illustrates a wider problem about the environment — nothing much happens unless a lot of people get involved in sorting out problems such as piles of stinking rubbish or global warming.

“We are faced with a unique challenge…about how we get practical about climate change,” said Achim Steiner, head of the U.N. Environment Programme which backs the clean-up campaign. “Climate change is not just something that others have to address.” Uruguayan refuse collectors load a truck with paper found in the garbage in Montevideo April 11, 2008. According to the refuse collectors union “Ucrus”, at least 15, 000 people in Montevideo make their living from collecting garbage and eating, wearing and using things found in the garbage. REUTERS/Andres Stapff (URUGUAY

The clean up campaign was founded in 1993 by Australian Ian Kiernan, a yachtsman shocked by the amount of trash even in remote areas such as the Sargasso Sea in the Caribbean.

So get out your mops, your bins, your rags, your scrubbing brushes, your brooms…


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I think this is a great cause. Everything lttle thing makes a difference. If only we could get people to just stop trashing our world.

Posted by Robin Plan | Report as abusive

This is great. I live on the beach in california. The filthy mexicans drive up and dump their trash all the time.

It’s great to see that some of them will actually make an effort to clean up their mess.

Posted by Jack Ribold | Report as abusive

It is amazing the amount of trash we clean up every year during World CleanUp Day. If we could do it every 3 months, the world will definitely be a cleaner place 😀

Posted by pelf | Report as abusive

100% of the time I see someone dumping trash from their car in Chicago, it is a white person, usually old. My south american friends came to visit recently and were surprised by how much trash people toss in the streets. My supposedly well educated neighborhood provides us with huge, I mean HUGE trash cans for each house, but even with that, half the houses have overflowing bins with unflattened boxes that are perfectly recyclable, bottles of water with water still inside, you name it. How do you nicely tell these people that they are filthy and lazy?

Posted by julie | Report as abusive

You’ve answered your own question…. Just tell them that they’re filthy & lazy! simple!

Sometimes we need to do that to make certain people realise things.

Or, go one step further like us in England. Get local authority to act as bin police & fine you when you get caught dumping on the hidden cameras in the bin-bags!!

Posted by Mamun | Report as abusive

How will we no that the people in the world might just throw the trash back where we all picked it up.

Posted by Alexander | Report as abusive

You simplify a wee bit too much. Some environmental activities, like cleaning up beaches, do in fact require a lot of bodies. Some, like global warming, can be addressed technologically, at least in the long-term.

Posted by Tom | Report as abusive