Swedish-Maltese clean-up heroine Camilla Appelgren is back for more, and now, she’s set her sights on the whole island.
“We’re going to have 476 cleanups all happening at the same time”
“For the big event that’s happening on the 15th of September 2018, we hope to engage 5% of the Maltese population,” Camilla explained excitedly. “That’s technically 21,014 people, but we thought might as well round that number up, and are aiming for 22,000 people.”
The plan for organizing these thousands of people sounds like clockwork. “There are 68 local councils in Malta, and we’re going to have a cleanup in each and every one of them,” Camilla said. “Each local council will get seven spots to clean up, and that means we’re going to have 476 cleanups all happening at the same time.” Yep, you read that right.
“The local councils will take part in choosing the seven spots themselves, also helping to recruit the staff for the sites. That will not only help decrease excessive travelling around the island, but also give the volunteers a feeling of cleaning up their ‘home’.”
“We hope to engage 5% of the Maltese population… aiming for 22,000 people”
While those sound like far-fetched amounts, Camilla is convinced that it’s an entirely possible objective. Her Facebook group Malta Clean Up has increased by hundreds of members in the last couple of weeks alone, and Sunday cleanups like the ones she organizes are becoming very common and even more effective. What’s more, other groups like Żibel have also started cropping up, with 50 volunteers collecting some 500kg of rubbish a couple of days ago.
And another year’s worth of momentum can definitely go a very long way.
“For this edition, we’re doing things a bit differently,” Camilla continued. “We’re going in with a mentality of absolutely zero waste. Reusable gloves and preferably even reusable bags will be used. Each team will collect litter and empty it at the sorting area of each cleanup site. There, other people will be sorting the litter for recycling or landfills. People will take turns, so everyone will get an opportunity to learn how to sort trash properly.”
“This doesn’t have to be a full-day activity if people are too busy. If they can join for just an hour or even less, they are still extremely important”
Clearly, the vital thing is to have a very solid plan of action, and Camilla, together with JCI head Valeria Lvova, has it all planned out. “The first step is for us to generate a much larger following on Facebook so we know that we have people on board,” Camilla said. “It’s also a great way to keep volunteers posted. The second step is for us, or the council, to contact companies and NGOs in the areas to get people on board. We want to make people step up for their own locality first and foremost.”
“This doesn’t have to be a full-day activity if people are too busy. If they can join for just an hour or even less, they are still extremely important. Every bottle picked up is one bottle less in the countryside.”
JCI Malta and Clean Up Malta will be organizing other cleanups throughout this year, along with a trial run of the big 2018 event (which we’ll definitely keep you posted on). Until then, be sure to follow them on Facebook for more updates on upcoming events. More information on the big national cleanup will be up on Let’s Do It! Malta, the collaborative group of both organizations.