World Cleanup Day

Saturday, 15 September, millions of volunteers in more than 150 countries took part at the same time in the World Cleanup Day. This made it the biggest cleanup action ever. In the Netherlands more than 250 cleanup actions took place throughout the country. The Plastic Soup Foundation (PSF) together with Nudge, the largest sustainability organisation in our country, were responsible for the coordination of World Cleanup Day in the Netherlands. In early 2017, AquaMinerals began a partnership with the Plastic Soup Foundation.

In the Netherlands, the Plastic Soup Foundation (PSF) was the so-called ‘country leader’ of this unique World Cleanup Day. To organise the event PSF teamed up with Nudge, the largest sustainability organisation in the Netherlands, so as to involve as many volunteers, companies and municipalities in the cleanup action as possible.

AquaMinerals, along with other Dutch companies and organisations, joined the World Cleanup Day as ‘participating partners’. Together with a number of staff members we removed plastics from the water and bank near the Damned-Up Meuse at Poederoijen – after all, prevention and clean water are also important to us. Unfortunately, our cleanup action along the Damned-Up Meuse was very fruitful. We found cans, bottles, a surf-board, scrapped iron and a full garbage bag. It was striking how the pieces of plastic one picked up disintegrated in one’s hands.

The Dutch companies and organisations that were participating partners in the World Cleanup Day were: ABN Amro, IVN Natuureducatie, JCI Nederland, Middle Point, Spa Nederland, Stichting De Noordzee, Heineken, Coca-Cola, AquaMinerals, Ekoplaza, Roompot Vakanties, NEMO Science Museum, Greenchoice, Dimsum Reizen, Grant Thornton, Tony’s Chocolonely, JCDecaux, Nederland Schoon, Moonen Packaging, Oerlemans Plastics, EcoChain Technologies, AGV/Waternet Water Authority, De Dommel Water Authority, Royal Lemkes, Omrin, Soda Stream, Lipton, Deliveroo, Bever, Center Parcs, Vrumona, Cisco, The Hague municipality, and A.S.R.
Various ambassadors from the Plastic Soup Foundation assisted in the cleanup actions. Singer-songwriter Roos Blufpand participated in a cleanup in the Kanaleneiland district in her city of Utrecht. Bag designer, Omar Munie, initiated an own cleanup action from his shop in The Hague’s Noordeinde district.

Cleanup action produces mass of data

The whole army of volunteers collected valuable data on the cleanup day. All the participants actually worked as monitors: they recorded the litter they found in their street, in their neighbourhood or park, and along rivers and roads. They did this using a handy app which was used in the Netherlands and elsewhere as well.

The country-wide operation on 15 September was coordinated from a national command centre, under the watchful eyes of journalists. That same evening, a report was issued on what sort of litter was found across the country: what kind of objects, what brands, and where. The World Cleanup Day has thus provided unique data which lawmakers, policymakers, municipalities and businesses can dig into to their heart’s content. We are proud to have made a modest contribution to this initiative.

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