On 8 December, the UN General Assembly approved the resolution submitted by Estonia to name 20 September the World Cleanup Day in the UN calendar.
The World Cleanup Day – that originates from Estonia is managed by the NGO Let’s Do It World – is by now one of the greatest civil initiatives in the world that dates back to 2008, when the first Let’s Do It cleanup day was organised in Estonia. Since 2018, more than 71 million people from 195 countries across the world have taken part in the joint cleanup action.
According to the Estonian foreign minister, Margus Tsahkna, naming the World Cleanup Day an international day contributes to raising awareness about waste management, increasing the number of participants in the cleanup action, thereby leading the world to a cleaner future.
The World Cleanup Day becoming an international day of the UN ensures a place in the calendar of UN member states and brings greater attention to problems related to the waste crisis.
More than two billion tons of municipal solid waste is added to the world every year, and if the current trend continues, this number will double by 2050, according to the Estonian foreign ministry.
“The World Cleanup Day plays an important role in changing people’s mindsets about waste management and contributes to the removal of municipal waste from the environment. In 2023, 205,000 tons of municipal waste was cleaned up in the course of the joint action,” the foreign ministry said in a statement.
The UN calendar has many international days and weeks aimed at drawing attention to specific topics or challenges, raising awareness about them and spurring countries and people into action.