More than 2,7 million people from 20 countries joined Let's Do It! cleanups in April and in May. The cleanups were accompanied with festivals and events to draw attention to the growing problem of illegal waste.
Let's Do It! cleanup events were held in Belarus (23 000 people), Cyprus (15 000 people), Czech Republic (65 000 people), Greece (60 000 people), Bosnia and Herzegovina (numbers to be specified), Latvia (190 000), Lithuania (260 000), Ukraine (763 000), Croatia (55 000), Hungary (190 000), Estonia (44 000 people), Montenegro (10 800), Albania (100 000), Kosovo (60 000) and in Bulgaria (150 000). Sweden held an extended cleanup campaign over the course of three months, involving almost 768 000 school pupils. Small actions were also held in Italy, Argentina and in Lebanon.
Reports include increasing numbers of massive student involvement - 900 schools in Bulgaria, for example, were involved - assisting in the removal of 4985 tons of trash by 150 000 people. Especially notable: efforts in Albania mobilized 100 000 people and involved a remarkable 85% of the school population. Albanian Let's Do It! organizers once again preceded the annual cleanup day with a two-week-long ,,green tour," creating a ,,rumble" with local governments.
Ukraine held various festivals under the name of "?????FEST" (CLEANFEST) "engaging huge numbers of people in various events promoting clean environment and green activism. In addition to cleanup volunteers, 2 million people have been reported to attend Let's Do It! actions, including 83 green festivals that were held all over the country.
Reflecting a positive trend, many countries noted significant progress towards lower numbers of trash, to begin with, and entire dumping sites were eliminated: In Bulgaria, 150 000 volunteers from NGO members removed more than 1300 illegal sites and a total of 4985 tons of trash, about half the amount discovered last year (10 460). In Kosovo, more than 60 000 volunteers, with the largest participant number in Pristina, eliminated 147 illegal landfills and more than 5000 tons of garbage, some in prominent tourism areas. A total of more than 35 200 tons of waste was collected and sent to proper treatment with the help of volunteers in 19 countries.
,,The commitment to this day, by everyone from major state institution to students in elementary schools, is a clear indicator that all have started to be aware of the importance of a clean environment. It fills me with joy to see the changes taking place in my home country," said Kosovo's leader Luan Hasanaj.
In the Czech Republic, dramatic ,,finds" discovered by some of the 65 000 participants included an unexploded WW II bomb, a ,,wanted" person, and apparently unwanted steam irons. In the Baltic states, volunteers in Estonia, the birth nation of the Let's Do It! movement, found a ,,message in a bottle" from a Latvian woman seeking a long-term partner; it is unknown if she was also among her country's 190 000 volunteers, working hard in rain and hail on cleanup day. "Treasures" found by 260 000 Lithuanians included an entire Volkswagen GOLF.
Let's Do It! World is the outcome of a massive volunteer initiative, pioneered in Estonia in 2008, when 50 000 volunteers cleaned up 10 000 tonnes of illegal waste in just five hours. Officials estimated that the initiative saved local governments three years of work and 22,5 million Euros. The idea quickly caught on and has since spread globally, having now grown into a network of about 100 countries.
On September 8th 2018, Let's Do It! World will organize a massive World Cleanup Day with 150 countries cleaning up waste on the same day.
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