World Cleanup Day

World Cleanup Day takes place annually over a 24 hour period in September, and involves millions of volunteers around the world uniting to clean up our planet. The idea came from an event in Estonia in 2008, when 4% of the population came out to clean the entire country of illegally dumped waste in just a matter of hours. 

This year World Cleanup Day is on the 15th September, and people around the planet will come together to clean up litter and waste from beaches, rivers, forests and streets. 

Kids picking up rubbish for World Cleanup Day
Kids picking up rubbish for World Cleanup Day

Why is World Cleanup Day Important?

Every year 8 million tonnes of waste is added to our oceans. When waste is dumped openly on our streets or in the countryside, it begins to decompose, and harmful chemicals and toxins begin to leak out first into the soil, then spreads into the water and air – the things we all depend on for a healthy life.

It's a great opportunity to focus on recycling and environmental topics with the children. Animals, birds and sea creatures are also under threat from environmental factors, so you could also use World Cleanup Day to do some topic work on endangered species.

Litter on the beach

"The greatest threat to our planet is the belief that someone else will save it."
Robert Swan, Polar Explorer and Environmentalist

"It is one world. And it's in our care." 
Sir David Attenborough

"A clean environment is a human right like any other. It is therefore part of our responsibility toward others to ensure that the world we pass on is as healthy if not healthier, than we found it."
Dalai Lama

Ideas for World Cleanup Day

  • Why not organise your own clean up with family or friends? Discarded plastic bags get into the soil and slowly release toxic chemicals, and when they eventually break down animals eat them and can choke and die. Make sure you have an adult with you for supervision and wear sensible footwear and protective gloves, then get to work at a park, beach, river or other open space picking up plastic bags, wrappers and straws. Once you've collected all the waste, ask an adult to help you dispose of it responsibly.
  • World Cleanup Day isn't just about cleaning up waste - it's also about looking at the problems causing it. Can you think of something that causes a lot of waste, plastic straws for example, then start a campaign at your school or community to reduce the use of them?
  • Find out more about World Cleanup Day and how you can get involved with events, or organise your own event here (https://www.worldcleanupday.org/). 

Our World Cleanup Day Resources

Dolphins Poster

Dolphins Poster

Humans and dolphins have always been friends, so it is shocking to learn that more than 100,000 marine mammals - like dolphins and whales - are killed every year by plastic debris in the oceans. This poster shocks by simply stating the facts. It is best printed with borderless settings.

How Much Plastic Worksheet

How Much Plastic Worksheet

Did you know that up to 8 million tonnes of plastic ends up in the oceans each year? That's too big a number for most of us to imagine, especially if we convert it to kilograms, which this worksheet suggests we do!

It Is One World Poster

It Is One World Poster

"It is one world, and it's in our care." This important quote from Sir David Attenborough, backed by a haunting picture of a beach covered in plastic and other litter, is particularly pertinent for World Cleanup Day or Earth Day

It's Good to be Green Certificate

It's Good to be Green Certificate

This fun certificate is great to hand out at school or home for someone who's done something good for our environment. Perhaps they've picked up some litter or done lots of extra recycling? Perfect for Earth Day too...

It's Time to Clean up our World Poster

It's Time to Clean up our World Poster

It's time to clean up our world! This poster shows two children doing just that, and we hope it inspires others to remember and care about their world, too.

Litter Acrostic Poem Printable

Litter Acrostic Poem Printable

Use this acrostic poem printable spelling out the word L-I-T-T-E-R for notices and writing projects as well as acrostic poetry. You can choose from the blank version (page 1) or the lined version.

Ocean Pollutants Word Search

Ocean Pollutants Word Search

The ocean is full of things that shouldn't be there, which are killing sea creatures, marine mammals and birds every day and eating away at our environment. This word search grid contains some of the most common ocean pollutants.

Seabirds Poster

Seabirds Poster

According to Unesco, plastic debris causes the deaths of more than a million seabirds every year - a truly shocking figure and fact. This poster just states the fact, and it is horrifying. It is best printed with borderless settings.

Super Litterpicker Certificate

Super Litterpicker Certificate

It's great for children to help pick up litter and make our environment cleaner - whether it's at home, school or the park! Reward them for their efforts with this lovely certificate...

Think Before You Use It Worksheet

Think Before You Use It Worksheet

What should we be using less of? What should we be recycling? This simple worksheet asks the kids to research or brainstorm a list of items that we should think more carefully about using in the future.

Trash Acrostic Poem Printable

Trash Acrostic Poem Printable

There are two pages - one with lines and one without - in this pdf file, designed for the kids to write an acrostic poem using the letters in the word T-R-A-S-H. It makes a useful writing frame or poster (with plenty of space for your message) too.

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