Clean up the nature next door
26,169.53 kilograms. A lot of mass. About 13 Teslas Model Y. That's how much trash a cleanup group collected only in Cologne in 2021. Too much trash ends up in the environment – where it doesn't belong. Waste is a precious resource. Industry and society must collaborate to solve this challenge. Solutions can be found if waste is not regarded as garbage, but as a valuable raw material that can be recycled and reused. The prerequisite for this are functioning disposal systems. So much for the ideal.
On Saturday, September 18th, it’s World Cleanup Day again. A day that is dedicated to collecting waste and showing that there is still a long way to go before we reach the ideal. On World Cleanup Day, everyone can get involved and participate. As a member of the Alliance to End Plastic Waste (AEPW), which initiated the #Clean4Change movement, Covestro also supports regular cleanup campaigns.
Our colleagues around the world set a good example. They organized their own local cleanup actions or joined existing groups. Together, they picked up trash from nature: on the beach, in the forest, or right outside the front door.
In addition to the practical benefits for nature, the global movement is an important sign to move forward, to reach out to people and to make them aware of the opportunities of circular material recycling. Every individual can contribute to this and make the blue planet a little cleaner.
Kick-off in Shanghai
Long before World Cleanup Day at the beginning of the year, Covestro colleagues in Shanghai organized a beach cleanup. 60 employees and their families spent six hours collecting man-made waste on the beach. The result: 2,623 individual items, 195.6 kilograms on the scales. Jacky Zhang, Purchasing Manager APAC, is convinced by the cause: “Collecting trash on the beach was a great activity that combined two nice things: I got to know new colleagues and did something good for the environment. My conclusion: collecting trash is fun!"
In Taiwan, 17 colleagues grabbed garbage bags and removed 45 kilograms of trash from a 100-meter-wide stretch of beach within four hours. This included 227 plastic bottles, 148 bottle caps and 112 straws. In another cleanup action, 24 colleagues cleared the Zhishan Cultural and Ecological Garden in Taipei of litter.
Colleagues from Italy, Spain, Switzerland and Mexico also took the initiative in Europe and Latin America and set up their own cleanup actions. During the cleanup in Germany, very close to the Covestro headquarter in Cologne, a rain barrel, a soccer ball and several lighters were found in the forest. Annika Anheyer, expert in distillation, kept the cleanup in good memory: “I am very grateful for this great action. Even if a cleanup is only part of the solution, it is an important action for the nature.”
Covestro colleagues around the world are taking part, voluntarily and self-organized. They are inspired by the idea of the World Cleanup Day and take action. No one saves the world alone, but every single contribution adds up and makes our planet a little cleaner and waste-free.