President's Blog

13 Sep 2018 12:09 Age: 1 year

Why You Should Attend the #WorldCleanupDay 2018 – a Message from the President of ISWA

Category: ISWA BLOG


Antonis Mavropoulos, President of ISWA, writes a message about the importance of civic-led mass movements such as Let’s Do It! World in shaping the future of waste management.

We are just two days away from the World Cleanup Day 2018, the 15th of September 2018, when millions of volunteers from over 150 countries will unite to remove litter and illegally dumped waste. This is a highly symbolic activity that is becoming an annual milestone for the efforts to fight pollution and encourage citizens to actively participate in shaping the wasteless future. 



In 2016 ISWA signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Let’s Do It! World and is fully supporting the World Cleanup Day. Our members will actively participate in it. There are some very good reasons for that so let me share with you the three most important ones.



1. It’s one of the biggest environmental activities in the world, involving an impressive patchwork of organizations, institutions and voluntary groups coming from different backgrounds and various parts of the world. This huge diversity of participants has two significant effects:


  • It obliges the organizers to focus on simple but highly symbolic activities, and;
  • It provides a unique platform to open a deeper discussion about pollution and waste management among broader audience giving access to science and know-how to the citizens and environmental groups that require it. 


2. The World Cleanup Day allows everyone to make a small but tangible contribution to beat pollution - it highlights the need for a healthy environment, better resource efficiency and waste management with much more and better systems for reuse, recovery and recycling. In this view, ISWA’s participation wants to demonstrate both:


3. Especially this year, the World Cleanup Day is a great opportunity to speak about Marine Litter and its linkages with waste management. As Marine Litter becomes a planetary challenge similar to climate change, on September 15th we should communicate the key-message that improving waste management and recycling in the developing world is the best way to prevent marine litter. 


If those three reasons are not enough, I will give you one more. 

The World Cleanup Day is not only about waste and littering. It’s also about the direct linkages between human rights and environmental protection, about the right of people to collectively act and demand solutions for pollution. It’s about the right of citizens to shape their lives and stimulate policies, about the need to integrate science in each and every decision-making process. 


Now, visit the official World Cleanup Day website and learn more about how to get involved.


I hope to see you at the #WorldCleanupDay.

Antonis Mavropoulos

President of ISWA