European Parliament Supports World Cleanup 201212 May 2011
The European Parliament has given its endorsement to the global civic "clean-up" initiative aiming to engage millions of volunteers from Europe and other regions of the world to clean up thousands of tons of illegal waste in 2012. Over 400 MEPs have signed a written declaration supporting the event, which is expected to count on the support of millions of volunteers next year. The text also calls for an improvement on tackling waste at EU level and by authorities in member states.
Civic movement behind the initiative "Let's do it!" has already engaged 1.5 million people and 11 countries in one-day countrywide cleanup actions, starting from 2008. The "Let's do it!" clean-up drives have seen particularly high participation in certain EU countries, such as Slovenia and Estonia. Following the momentum of this year's European Year of Volunteering, many more countries will take action in 2012. There are teams already working on the preparations in 30 countries and other new countries joining the initiative each week. The World Cleanup 2012 will start on 24 March and last until 15 September next year. The organising teams will invite volunteers to join in and map illegal dumping sites all around the world starting from September of this year.
Enforcing waste legislation
The parliamentary written declaration, which is non-binding, acknowledges that "implementation and enforcement of EU waste legislation is poor". It asks the Commission to play its part, for example by publishing available national data on illegal dumps. Legislative work will also be crucial. For example, the rules on waste electrical goods (WEEE Directive) are currently being revised by the European Parliament.
Hopes for 2012
The five initiators were Romana Jordan Cizelj (EPP, SI), Indrek Tarand (Greens/EFA, Estonia), Corinne Lepage (ALDE, France), Ana Gomes (S&D, Portugal) and Radvile Morkunaite (EPP, Lithuania). In plenary today, Mrs Jordan thanked Parliament for its overwhelming support and said "I hope the clean-up in 2012 will take place in as many towns and cities as possible."
Mr Tarand added, "This is a real citizens' initiative, which can help guide Europe to a better future."