Organisers of Massive Cleanup Actions Discussed About a Global Cleanup Date

Date: 19.03.2015

The Let’s Do It! Clean World Conference 2015 was held in Riga, Latvia from 18-20th of February, where civic activists and cleanup organisersfrom around 40 countries discussed plans on how to clean up the world from illegal waste, possibly doing that with a massive one day global cleanup action.

The chief motivator and one of the initiators of the Let’s Do It! movement, Rainer Nõlvak, suggested to take the World Cleanup even further than it has been done before. “Not in my wildest dreams would I have imagined in 2008, that we would come to this – a world movement to get rid of the illegal waste problem. Our current model where each country picks a date and cleans up a country has been working pretty well. But I think we need to hike it up a notch. You might not agree with me, but I don’t really like to clean and I would like to have the world cleaned up once and for all.”

“In order to really clean up our planet, we need to reach about 5% of the population participating in cleanup actions in every country. If we did that in each country separately, the planet would become clean in one day. We have already been involving millions and have seen the tide changing. Latvia has become clean, so have Estonia and Lithuania. Slovenia is moving towards a circular economy and zero waste model. But what if we tried to make it even quicker? What if we would join our efforts for one global cleanup day – let’s say, in 2018,” Nõlvak shared his vision with the civic activists from around 40 countries.


Rainer Nõlvak.

Rainer Nõlvak.

“Just picture the event where everybody in the world would stop fighting for a day like it used to be during the Olympic games? What if we’d make it a global cooperation effort to really clean up the planet? It takes a tremendous leap of faith to do that and perhaps we can never do it. But what if we can? The worst thing that strikes me is that what if we can and don’t do it? That would be shame,” concluded Nõlvak.

The global illegal trash problem is said to be one of the biggest environmental hazards, posing a danger to the ecosystem causing water and air pollution, the death of animals and directly harming people.

During the conference, it was also declared, that the Philippines, Afghanistan and Kenya have set a country cleanup date and plan to involve millions during just one day to get rid of the illegal waste problem in their home countries. The leader of Let’s Do It! Latvia (Liela Talka) Vita Jaunzeme and the Prime Minister of Latvia, Laimdota Straujuma announced that Latvia aims to become the cleanest country in the world by 2018. Latvians have brought hundreds and thousands to participate in massive cleanup days and are one of the most successful countries in the Let’s Do It! network.

The Let’s Do It! clean up campaigns aim to solve the illegal dumping problem on a local and global level both in the short and long term – by engaging a large part of the society in the cleanup activity on an action day, raising the issues related to illegal dumping and engaging both experts, political and local leaders to find more sustainable systemic solutions. The movement began in Estonia in 2008 when 50,000 people came together and cleaned up their entire country in five hours, removing 10,000 tonnes of waste. Today, Let’s Do It! is a global network of 112 countries, having engaged over 11 million participants.

More information:
Meelika Hirmo
Let’s Do It! World Cleanup 2015
Head of Public Relations & Communication
Phone: +372 504 1258