Despite restrictions related to the pandemic in many different countries, millions of people participated in the annual World Cleanup Day last weekend. A 24-hour wave of cleanups stretched across the planet, beginning in Australia and ending in Hawaii.
According to the UN, we dump over 11 billion tonnes of waste every year. Last year volunteers managed to pick up over 100,000 tonnes of waste worldwide.
This year, the organisation set a specific goal to collect 1 billion cigarette butts.
Cigarette butts are highly polluting, but so often overlooked when it comes to waste collecting. Six trillion butts are produced each year, three-quarters of which ends up in nature.
"I don't think that the amount of waste collected is relevant as such," says Anna Gril, European director of Let's Do It World. "World Cleanup Day is not strictly about cleaning the planet. (...)The main intention is raising awareness," she adds.