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Press release17 September 2021

Fight against marine pollution: #EUBeachCleanup campaign 2021

Officially launched on 18 August, the 2021 campaign of the #EUBeachCleanup will peak tomorrow on the World Coastal Clean Up Day. Since June, clean-up actions have been organised in both coastal and landlocked countries around the world, and will continue until the end of October. High Representative/Vice-President Josep Borrell said: “Our actions impact our oceans. It’s our choice: either we continue polluting our ocean with marine litter, or we take action and clean our seas. #EUBeachCleanup is a great individual and collective action of volunteers around the world to keep beaches clean and protect marine life. It’s needed, it’s urgent, everyone can contribute to restoring our planet.” Commissioner for Environment, Oceans and Fisheries, Virginijus Sinkevičius, said: “Restoring biodiversity, protecting the ocean and empowering citizens are all high on the EU’s agenda. The true power of #EUBeachCleanup is that it brings all these together and gains worldwide attention. It’s about walking the talk and turning the European Green Deal into global blue action. Join us. Together, we can make a difference.” Every year, millions of tons of litter end up in the ocean with a direct and deadly effect on wildlife.  Marine pollution starts on land and is one of the main drivers of the depletion of marine biodiversity. This is why since 2017 the EU has organised the annual #EUBeachCleanup campaign - a global awareness-raising making a strong call to action every year, building momentum for the adoption of ambitious measure to protect the ocean at international level. This year’s edition comes ahead of the 15th Conference of the Parties to the UN Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD COP15) in October and after the EU’s legislation on Single-use plastics entered into force in July. More information is in this news item.

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Publication date
17 September 2021