15,000 youngsters register for 2020 World Cleanup Day

Participants (one of them actually the prime minister) in last year's World Cleanup Day.
Participants (one of them actually the prime minister) in last year's World Cleanup Day. Source: Ken Mürk/ERR

Around 17,000 people, the bulk of them young people, have signed up for this year's World Cleanup Day, taking place next Saturday.

Of the 17,000 who have so far enrolled, 11,000 are school pupils and a further 4,000 are kindergarteners, BNS reports, though registration in Estonia for the 24-hour, global event is still open right until the last minute.

World Cleanup Day (WCD), which began in Estonia as a localized initiative called "Teeme ära", morphing later into a truly worldwide event, is necessarily this year restricted by coronavirus considerations, but is still going ahead. 

 "2020 has been one incredible year," said Mart Normet, WCD Estonia's manager.

"What's even more incredible is that WCD will take place as usual. There have been very many schools and kindergartens among those that have registered, which is fantastic; it is specifically young people who serve as role models in society," he noted, adding that churches, businesses, civic associations and the national basketball association had all expressed an interest in getting involved.

WCD 2020 takes place Saturday, September 19, though the following week, starting September 21, is also an option for those who can't make the Saturday. 

The event's bread and butter activity is volunteer work cleaning up local areas – streets, parks, beaches, rural areas etc., with an emphasis on having a good time in the process. Social distancing and other coronavirus regulations in accordance with local laws will be followed this year. 

As usual, WCD's global nerve center is in Estonia, with the call center and media center based in Tallinn, as they had been in 2018.

The day lasts a full 24 hours to reflect the world's time zones, starting in Fiji at midnight Estonian time, and ending a full rotation of the globe later in Hawaii. 

Last year's WCD attracted around 20 million people from most of the world's nations – but half of them from Indonesia – and saw nearly 30,000 people in Estonia alone take part.

Calculating the entire cleanup volumes globally would be nigh impossible, but in Estonia, with 1.3 million people, 2,200 liters of cigarette butts (or nearly one cigarette end per capita in Estonia), together with 333,000 liters of garbage, were picked up.

BNS reports that more people participate in the event on the day than actually register; registration is here.


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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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