Portugal and Slovenia kick off the unprecedented six-month-long global anti-dumping campaign on Saturday, with Tunisia joining in Sunday.
“The aim of the action is to solve the illegal dumping problem on a local and global level both short- and long-term by engaging a large part of society in the cleanup,” Tiina Urm, World Cleanup 2012 spokeswoman told AFP on Friday.
Urm added that the broad grassroots focus on illegal dumping was also aimed at “engaging experts, political and local leaders to find more sustainable systemic solutions.”
The campaign started in 2008 in Estonia, where organisers created special software to map and photograph 11,000 illegal garbage dumps across the Nordic nation of 1.3 million people.
In what proved to be an unprecedented success, over 50,000 volunteers collected 10,000 tonnes of illegal garbage from roadsides, forests and towns in just five hours.
Organisers decided to go global after the campaign spread like wildfire to 15 more countries including India, Slovenia, Serbia, Finland, Romania, Latvia, Lithuania, Portugal, Bulgaria, Moldova, Ukraine, Cambodia, Russia, Hungary and Brazil.