World Clean-Up Day

Clean Up the World is a community-based, environmental campaign that inspires and empowers communities around the world to clean up, fix up and conserve their environment. The campaign’s flagship event is Clean Up the World Weekend, celebrated globally on the 3rd weekend in September each year, however Clean Up the World encourages and supports groups to undertake activities throughout the year.

world cleanup day

Clean up the World was established in 1993, after Clean Up Australia founders, Ian Kiernan and Kim McKay, approached the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), with the idea of taking the Clean Up Australia concept globally. The resulting partnership now mobilizes an estimated 35 million volunteers from 120 countries annually, making it one of the largest community-based environmental campaigns in the world.

UNEP assists Clean Up the World to promote the campaign and encourages participation through its networks. Clean Up the World works across six global regions identified by the United Nations and in three languages – English, French and Spanish.

Organizations and groups can join Clean Up the World, with free membership for non-business organizations, renewed annually. The Clean Up the World campaign brings together businesses, community groups, schools and governments in a range of activities and programs that positively improve local environments. While participants are encouraged to hold environmental events on or around Clean Up the World Weekend (always the 3rd weekend in September), Clean Up the World encourages and supports groups to undertake activities throughout the year.

Since the first campaign in 1993, the improvements achieved due to the efforts of millions of concerned volunteers around the world have been impressive. Examples of community-led Clean Up the World activities include:

  • Recycling and resource recovery
  • Tree planting
  • Education campaigns
  • Water reuse and conservation
  • Competitions
  • Exhibitions

Activities are profiled on the global Clean Up the World map on

Whilst the Clean Up the World initiatives include single activities, the Campaign also supports groups that carry out longer term projects, which may involve an ongoing process of recycling and waste recovery, tree planting, education campaigns or water reuse and conservation.

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