European Union External Action

#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 are calling 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 will focus 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 will be organised throughout the Summer and in September, applying all necessary safety precautions, and culminating around World Coastal Cleanup Day on 18 September. Check our calendar to see what is happening near you. Or why not organise your own event? Keep us posted and have your event added to the official campaign calendar.



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.


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. The sustainability of the species is at stake with the economic practices of the community, therefore a balance needed to be found.

Since 2014, the intervention of EU projects has aimed to reduce the dependence of the community on scarce resources, protecting both the population and the surrounding environment.


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.

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.


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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