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A World Cleanup Day volunteer collects and sorts plastic bottles removed from the River Wigwa in Kisumu, Kenya, Sept. 18, 2021.
Copyright  BRIAN ONGORO/AFP or licensors

In pictures: 50 million people across the globe join World Cleanup Day

By Scott Brownlee

On Saturday an amazing 50 million volunteers from every corner of the world participated in the 2021 World Cleanup Day.

From divers collecting marine debris in the Pacific to children picking up trash on beaches in Africa, it was all hands on deck to make our planet a cleaner place.

Organisations from more than 180 countries signed up for this year's cleanup making it the largest coordinated cleanup effort in the world.

PETER BLAZA/REUTERS
Volunteer diver Carmela Sevilla collects plastic trash in underwater cleanup in Bauan, Batangas Province, Philippines, Sept. 18, 2021.PETER BLAZA/REUTERS
Nardus Engelbrecht/Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.
Volunteers collect trash on Lagoon Beach in Cape Town, South Africa, Sept. 18, 2021.Nardus Engelbrecht/Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

The annual cleanup day has been running for 13 years and volunteers have achieved amazing things during that time.

In 2008, in the small nation of Estonia, 50,000 people united to clean up the entire country in just five hours.

Eero Vabamägi/Postimees/Scanpix Baltics via Re
Volunteers race with discarded tires in Tallinn, Estonia, Sept. 18, 2021.Eero Vabamägi/Postimees/Scanpix Baltics via Re
Leo Correa/ The Associated Press. All rights reserved.
Young volunteers take a break from the cleanup on a beach in Bargny, Senegal, Sept. 18, 2021.Leo Correa/ The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

Let's Do It World, the Estonian organisation behind World Cleanup Day, aims to raise awareness of all the problems waste creates in the world.

Matias Delacroix/Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved
Volunteer divers prepare to clean up the waters at Los Totumos beach in Caracas, Venezuela, Sept. 18, 2021.Matias Delacroix/Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved
JUNI KRISWANTO/AFP or licensors
A volunteer collects plastic waste from a mangrove swamp in Surabaya, Indonesia, Sept. 18, 2021.JUNI KRISWANTO/AFP or licensors

While the numbers have not been finalised yet, it is expected that over 200,000 tons of trash were collected by volunteers across the globe on Saturday.

Bastien Doudaine/Bastien Doudaine / Hans Lucas
A young volunteer sorts trash in Saint-Pierre, Reunion Island, France, Sept. 18, 2021.Bastien Doudaine/Bastien Doudaine / Hans Lucas
PETER BLAZA/REUTERS
Diver Carmela Sevilla collects plastic trash near a sea turtle in Bauan, Batangas Province, Philippines, Sept. 18, 2021.PETER BLAZA/REUTERS
Leo Correa/ The Associated Press. All rights reserved.
Volunteers clean up trash that litters a beach in Bargny, Senegal, Saturday, Sept. 18, 2021.Leo Correa/ The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

Like Earth Day, World Cleanup Day is non-partisan, apolitical, and is not affiliated with any national or global political party.