A global network of volunteers honours World Cleanup Day with innovation from Litterati and educational tools from TED-Ed.
Extending its efforts to lessen the impact of litter on the environment, the Alliance to End Plastic Waste (the Alliance) today (10 September) announces the ALL_TOGETHER GLOBAL CLEANUP, a global initiative to remove litter, one piece at a time, from the environment in celebration of World Cleanup Day 2020.
Beginning on World Cleanup Day 2020 (19 September) and extending for the ensuing two weeks, thousands of volunteers from the Alliance, employees of participating member and non-member companies, partners and individuals around the world will rally to their communities to discover, identify, collect and dispose of any litter they find. Leveraging the global network of the Alliance’s nearly 50 members, the ALL_TOGETHER GLOBAL CLEANUP expects to educate more than one million individuals about the importance of litter clean up.
Litterati, winner of the Alliance and Plug and Play’s incubator program in the United States, developed the app that serves as the centrepiece to unite ALL_TOGETHER GLOBAL CLEANUP participants. The Litterati app allows for pickup efforts to be monitored with concrete data, which in turn makes it possible for changes of lasting impact—from behavioural shifts to corporate packaging changes and more. Litterati uses artificial intelligence technology to identify the litter from the environment captured in geo-tagged photos. All participants will use the innovative Litterati smartphone app to upload photos of each piece of litter collected in order to measure and track participation throughout the two-week campaign.
Jacob Duer, President and CEO, Alliance to End Plastic Waste, said: “The scale of the global litter challenge can feel daunting, but growing participation in World Cleanup Day has demonstrated that individuals are eager to do their part. Through the ALL_TOGETHER GLOBAL CLEANUP, the Alliance and our members are determined to further reduce litter in our mission to end plastic waste in the environment. With the help of Litterati and TED-Ed, organizations and citizens around the world can truly come together and be part of a global movement for collective impact.”
The scale of the global litter challenge can feel daunting, but growing participation in World Cleanup Day has demonstrated that individuals are eager to do their part
To date, many of the Alliance’s member companies have announced they would participate in the 2020 ALL_TOGETHER GLOBAL CLEANUP through teams of employee volunteers. Other companies, organizations or individuals seeking to participate in the ALL_TOGETHER GLOBAL CLEANUP should simply download Litterati from the App Store or Google Play Store, open the Litterati app and enter the code: “CLEAN.” Volunteers can then head out into their local community and use the camera in the Litterati app to take photos of the litter collected, one piece at a time.
Jeff Kirschner, founder and CEO of Litterati, said: “We are excited to collaborate with the Alliance to End Plastic Waste on an important common goal: to help create a litter-free world. By empowering the ALL_TOGETHER GLOBAL CLEANUP volunteers, and measuring their positive impact, we are creating the opportunity for long-lasting environmental change.”
Further supplementing these efforts, award-winning youth and education initiative TED-Ed has created virtual lesson plans and videos that its network of over 600,000 educators may use to teach young students – including those who participate in the ALL_TOGETHER GLOBAL CLEANUP – about the issue of litter in the environment. The video-based lessons will be available on TED-Ed’s free and award-winning educational platform and translated into several languages.
Logan Smalley, founding executive director, TED-Ed, said: “By showcasing the commitment and efforts of all in the ALL_TOGETHER GLOBAL CLEANUP ecosystem, we hope to spark and engage the interests of the next generation of environmental activists. Through education and action, we can reduce litter and have a lasting positive impact on the world.”
Clean Up is one of four strategic pillars of the Alliance, along with infrastructure, innovation, and education and engagement, that guide the organization as it works to identify, evaluate, select and invest in programs that bring to life solutions that prevent the leakage of plastic waste into the environment and contribute to a circular economy. The Alliance’s ALL_TOGETHER GLOBAL CLEANUP emphasizes the scalable impact of individuals when everyone steps up to take action. The two-week window to participate in the ALL_TOGETHER GLOBAL CLEANUP gives participants the choice to take part when they are comfortable in doing so and physically distanced given their local communities’ COVID-19 safety guidance.