320 teams along 161 rivers join River Cleanup World

June 10, 2020

Brussels, June 7th 2020 - Every year, around 8 billion kilograms of waste end up in our seas and oceans. 80% of that waste is brought there by rivers. To take action to change this, River Cleanup is organising River Cleanup World on Sunday 7 June 2020. With countless small-scale, coronavirus-proof cleaning initiatives all around the world, River Cleanup aims to prove that we can all make a difference, even though no major cleanups are allowed at the moment. Over 320 actions took place in 45 countries along 161 rivers, which make this first edition a huge success!


Thomas de Groote, the founder of River Cleanup, realised a few years ago that more than 8 billion kilograms of plastic waste end up in our seas and oceans every year. This has an adverse impact on nature, animals and our health. He decided to tackle the problem closer to the source by cleaning up the waste before it reaches the sea, in other words in and around rivers. River Cleanup aims to make as many people as possible aware of this problem and, above all, to encourage them to take action.


Worldwide action 

Today over 320 teams joined the action in 6 continents. It is no coincidence that this campaign will be held on the eve of World Ocean Day on 8 June. "With small-scale, individual and above all coronavirus-proof initiatives along rivers and riverbanks, River Cleanup aims to raise public awareness and make people part of the solution,” says Arno Doggen, River Warrior at River Cleanup. Cleanups took take place in Brussels, Miami, New York, Tokyo, Singapore, London and countries like China, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Palestine, Australia, Sweden, Russia, Lithuania and South Africa. (Full list at (river-cleanup.org/en/world)

More relevant now than ever

This is exactly the right time for the campaign, as the coronavirus has caused an increase in the amount of single-use plastic in circulation, in the form of packaging, masks, plastic gloves and so on. So it’s time for action! Everyone can do their bit in River Cleanup World with an individual campaign, whilst sticking to the coronavirus rules of course. 



Cleanups    : 321
Countries    : 45
Rivers        : 161


Top 5

Belgium    : 83 cleanups
Lithuania    : 62 cleanups
Russia    : 41 cleanups
India        : 29 cleanups
Germany    : 27 cleanups


Participating countries


Belgium, Lithuania, Russia, India, Germany, USA, France, United Kingdom, Switzerland, Australia, Portugal, Indonesia, Japan, Nepal, Netherlands, Namibia, Albania, Denmark, Philippines, Palestine, Morocco, Gabon, El Salvador, Poland,  Singapore, Cambodia, Brazil, New Zealand, South Africa, Ireland, Sri Lanka, Spain, Sweden, Romania, Austria, Kazakhstan, China, Malaysia, Kosovo, Italy, Chile, Pakistan, Ukraine, Hungary, Slovakia.