Massive Civic Clean-Up Actions Are Transforming Albania

Let’s Do It! Albania (Ta Pastrojmë Shqipërinë) held a massive civic-led clean-up day on November 20 with more than 150 000 people who cleaned up 5000 tonnes of waste. The action has increased the popularity of volunteering and brought environmental topics to the everyday agenda.

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The leader of Let’s Do It! campaign in Albania, Ervin Shehaj, admits, that even though Albania has witnessed rapid change in volunteering culture, there is still a lot of work to be done.

“There are a lot of problems. We have lost the connection with nature, we don’t feel it anymore and we don’t have enough knowledge. We also don’t have a strong feeling of community and the transformation from communism to democracy is still in progress,” he expressed his worry about the society.

On the positive side, he has witnessed, that in only a few years, Let’s Do It! has had a big impact on Albania. “It has increased volunteering and has made environmental problems an everyday issue, which was not the case before. We can see that we have less waste than a few years ago, but it is still too much,” admitted Shehaj emphasizing the importance of education. Let’s Do It! Albania has an extensive cooperation with schools around the county to make sustainable life-style more understandable.

This year’s campaign focused on young people, but all different social and age groups were involved. Over 1000 clean-up actions were registered all over Albania. According to Shehaj, most of the NGOs in the country contributed to the national clean-up day. Last year, 112 000 people attended the national clean-up day and another 50 000 cleaned  coastal areas and the sea as part of the Let’s Do It! Mediterranean campaign. In 2013, an impressive 147 000 people cleaned waste in Albania. Let’s Do It! Albania has made it to the Guinness Book of Records together with Saimir Strati by creating a mosaic out of 150 000 drinking straws.

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The international network of Let’s Do It! aims to solve the illegal dumping problem on a local and global level both short and long term – by engaging a large part of the society in the cleanup activity on an action day, raising the issues related to illegal dumping and engaging both experts, political and local leaders to find more sustainable systemic solutions. The movement began in Estonia in 2008 when 50 000 people came together and cleaned up their entire country in five hours, removing 10 000 tonnes of waste and saving the government 3 years of work and 22 million Euros. Today, Let’s Do It! is a global network of 112 countries, having engaged about 14.5 million participants.

See statistics here: www.letsdoitworld.org/statistics and follow the calendar of clean-up events here: www.letsdoitworld.org/cleanup_dates. Photos of clean-up events are available in the Mediabank of Let’s Do It! World: mediabank.letsdoitworld.org.

Let’s Do It! World Cleanup 2015 is supported by by the Estonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs from the Development Cooperation and Humanitarian Aid fund, the Estonian Ministry of the Environment, the Open Estonia Foundation, Skype, Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group, QlikView, Tallink Group, DHL Estonia, Pricewaterhouse Coopers, Interlex Translations, Meedius Estonia, Sendsmaily and EuroPark Estonia.

More information:
Meelika Hirmo
Let’s Do It! World Cleanup 2015
Head of Public Relations & Communication
Phone: +372 504 1258
E-mail: meelika@letsdoitworld.org
Webpage: www.letsdoitworld.org
Facebook: facebook.com/letsdoitworld
Twitter: twitter.com/letsdoitworld
Youtube: youtube.com/letsdoitworld