Delegation of the European Union to Iceland

#EUBeachCleanup 2021

Together to protect marine life

A single plastic bag may not seem like much, but when it is part of the millions of tons of litter ending up in the ocean every year, it has a concrete impact on marine life. For many living beings in our oceans, the distinction between litter and food is not clear, and they may end up being poisoned. Others may get trapped in improperly disposed waste.

The pollution of our oceans starts on land and each one of us can take simple actions to prevent it!

Every year, the EU organises an ocean-activism and awareness-raising campaign - #EUBeachCleanup - featuring events across the world. Teaming up with the United Nations and the bluest of friends, the Smurfs, the EU strongly believes that we can all make a real difference for our blue planet, taking responsible action as individuals and collectively. This year we raise the stakes with even more engaging online and offline activities.

For the 2021 edition, we have called for more localised engagement, as group actions may pose risks to public health. In line with the upcoming UN Biodiversity Conference in October, this year’s global #EUBeachCleanup campaign focuses on the theme of marine biodiversity. Under the headline “together to protect marine life” we invite you to explore the UN’s ActNow campaign for individual action and take daily steps to protect our environment. Each of us can combat pollution and marine litter by changing a few habits in our everyday life!

Follow the hashtag #EUBeachCleanup or our social media accounts and stay tuned!

Where possible, local #EUBeachCleanup events are organised throughout the Summer and in September, applying all necessary safety precautions, and culminating around World Coastal Cleanup Day. Check our calendar to see what is happening near you.



Are you looking for fun local #EUBeachCleanup activities? Stay tuned for our calendar of events organized across the world this Summer and beyond! All events are organised in accordance to national guidelines, applying all safety precautions.



Can’t find an event near you? You can always organise your own event!
Share with us the details of your event and have it added to the official campaign calendar.

ActNow – Join the #EUBeachCleanup challenge!

Ready to take action? As part of the 2021 edition of the #EUBeachCleanup campaign, we invite you to join ActNowthe UN campaign for individual action on climate change and sustainability. By changing our habits and making choices that have less harmful effects on the environment, we have the power to protect our planet, including the ocean!

Together with the United Nations, the EU has listed a number of actions you can take to protect marine life! Start by downloading the mobile app by AWorld – it allows you to:

  • Choose sustainable habits related to this year’s beach clean-up activity;
  • See the impact you are making;
  • Take educational journeys on protecting marine life; and
  • Engage in group challenges




Download from the app store


Sea Life Stories

Watch this section as we collect stories on sea life protection across the world.

#EUBeachCleanup, underwater cleanup, marine life protection

Raphaël Mang takes a deep dive underwater to explore what lies beneath our seas

It is still early this Saturday morning in Trou aux Biches, a coastal village in the North of the island. A group of persons are getting ready for a special boat trip; they are busy wearing their wetsuits and loading the boat with their snorkelling gears. Direction: the Western coast of the island which is 45-minutes away. Under the already blazing sun, they look impatient as they come near the diving site where they will be doing an amazing encounter with a group of sperm whales.

Protecting natural resources and wildlife of Nicaragua has become a mission for Mark. He is part of the indigenous Miskita community, who was active in the hunting and selling of turtles.


At the beach, in the countryside or in cities around the world, our #EUBeachCleanup volunteers are busy collecting litter to prevent it from getting into the ocean. Their contribution is fundamental to protecting sea life. Stay tuned for some of their stories here.

Plastic bottles, glass bottles, tires, slippers, pillows, toys, sneakers, crates, jars, bags, pipes, tiles, clothes, furniture, stoves. You can find all of them along the rivers in Romania.

On 23 October 2021, the Delegation of the European Union to Turkmenistan together with the Nature Protection Society, friends from the embassies of the EU member states and volunteers gathered together on the shore of the Geokdepe Lake to conduct a cleaning campaign.

As part of the EUBeachCleanup 2021 global campaign, the Delegation in Mauritius has organised, with Team Europe, the Mauritian authorities and local communities, a clean-up action on Ile d'Ambre, a natural reserve situated in the North East of mainland Mauritius.

Beach clean ups are not a solution to plastic pollution in the oceans but are a way to create awareness and inspire a behavioral change of people. This is exactly what happened in Accra.

Employees of the EU Delegation cleaned Buljarica Beach

En el marco de la campaña global #EUBeachCleanup, cada septiembre la Unión Europea realiza una serie de acciones de concienciación y activismo oceánico a nivel mundial. En esta oportunidad, en la Argentina, se llevó a cabo el sábado 25 y se recolectaron más de 3.150kg de residuos, mayoritariamente plásticos y microplásticos, gracias a la colaboración de más de 300 voluntarios.

#EUBeachCleanup Mozambique

The Delegation of the European Union to Mozambique, in partnership with the United Nations and the Smurfs, organised on 18 September – the World Costal Cleanup Day - a beach cleanup action to raise awareness on marine pollution and on the need to protect oceans. The action was also in collaboration with the EU member states represented in Mozambique and Mozambique's ministries of Land and Environment and of Waters and Fisheries.


“Today, we clean the beach in the hope that my daughter can enjoy the same #CleanSeas I remember from my childhood.” - EU Ambassador to Singapore Iwona Piórko

Los voluntarios del #EUBeachCleanup 2021 en playa Las Hojas, El Salvador, recolectaron más de cien bolsas de basura y residuos entre botellas, llantas de autos, desechables y otros artículos plásticos. Playa Las Hojas fue uno de los 65 diferentes puntos de limpieza donde se espera haber recolectado cerca de 80 toneladas de residuos.

#EUBeachCleanup, beach cleaning, climate action, #EUGreenDeal, ocean protection, protecting marine biodiversity

From the heart of Europe to the world… the #EUBeachCleanup campaign together with the UN and The Smurfs, reached its peak on World Coastal Clean-up Day, and across the globe, people continue cleaning beaches, lakes, rivers and other areas in their neighbourhood, to prevent litter from getting into the ocean, and protect our fascinating marine life from being destroyed.

Cada año, millones de toneladas de plástico acaban en el océano afectando su frágil ecosistema. Conscientes de este problema, la Unión Europea realiza anualmente su campaña de sensibilización y activismo oceánico #EUBeachCleanup. Bajo el lema “Juntos para proteger la vida marina”, en consonancia con la 15.ª Conferencia de las Partes en el Convenio de las Naciones Unidas sobre la Diversidad Biológica, la UE invita a la sociedad a reducir el consumo de plásticos de un solo uso y poner los residuos sólidos en su lugar.

The European Union in partnership with the Civil Society Forum on Climate Change (FORUMCC) organised a Beach clean-up on 26th June 2021 at Kawe Beach, Kinondoni Municipality in the city of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.

beach clean-up action in Angola

What started as a symbolic gesture in a few countries, with a few volunteers, has now become a global movement, involving hundreds of people and collecting tons of waste on beaches, rivers and lakes across the world, reaching more than 80 countries in the 2019 edition. On the 18th of August, we officially launch the 2021 edition of the #EUBeachCleanup, together with the UN and with the support of the bluest of friends, the Smurfs. This year’s campaign focuses on the protection of marine life, with physical and digital actions for everyone to join. The campaign will reach its climax around the World Coastal Clean-up Day on 18th September.


#EUBeachCleanup Venezuela 2021
EU Beach clean-up action held in 15 Montenegrin cities
#EUBeachCleanUp 2021 : Retour en images sur la journée de  nettoyage de la plage de Hann Bel Air
We went on a Beach Clean-up

It was hot on 30 July but that did not deter colleagues from our Delegation and EU Missions in New York to go on their first EU Beach Clean-Up. In just about 2 hours, they went through 4 blocks at Rockaway beach and collected 14 bags of trash, an estimated 225 kilos.

#EUBeachCleanup Day in Tanzania - Ambassador Mary O'Neill

On Sat 26th June 2021, the European Union and its Member States in partnership with Forum CC organised an “EU Beach Clean-up Day” in Dar es Salaam. The clean-up is part our climate change campaign, Resilience!

Mazingira Yetu - EU in Tanzania Beach Clean Up 2021

On Sat 26th June 2021, the European Union and its Member States in partnership with Forum CC organised an “EU Beach Clean-up Day” in Dar es Salaam.
Our theme was ‘Tunza Mazingira/Protect the environment’. Check out our #EUBeachCleanup at Kawe-Beach in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.

Previous editions

#EUBeachCleanUp 2020 (Wrap-up Video)
#EUBeachCleanUp across the planet
Global Beach Clean-Up 2018
EU protects #OurOcean 2017

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