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Oceans and fisheries
News announcement28 October 2022Directorate-General for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries2 min read

#EUBeachCleanup 2022 : Together against marine litter

And it’s a wrap on the 2022 edition of the #EUBeachCleanup!

EUbeachcleanup 2022, text on a bag

Another amazing year of clean-ups all around the world, thanks to the efforts of the thousands of people who helped clean-up our ocean and raise awareness about the appalling situation and impact of marine litter. In total: thousands of volunteers rallying up on every inhabited continent, in 40 countries, 260 events, more than 165,000 kilograms of litter, and thousands of cigarette butts and bottle caps collected – and counting!

United against marine litter: UN Ocean Conference and European Year of Youth

EUbeachcleanup 2022, participants

We started off the year with a bang, engaging, celebrating the European Year of Youth at the United Nations Ocean Conference in Lisbon, with the brilliant young minds taking part in the Ocean Innovathon organised for the occasion.

To take a comprehensive look at the marine litter issue, not only did the participants – including European Commissioner Virginijus Sinkevičius – took part in a micro-plastics clean-up, but also engaged in a crash course on micro and nano plastics, and released a plastic tracker out to sea.

The event could not have happened without the help of the Representation to Portugal of course, but also of Fundação Oceano Azul, whom we particularly thank for their exceptional effort in mobilising NGOs across Portugal throughout the campaign.

Stronger together: an ocean of cooperation

EUbeachcleanup 2022, scuba diver

Cooperation was indeed yet again paramount to the success of this campaign. We are thrilled to thank the 400 NGOs who joined forces with us!

It surely paid off for the European Union Delegation in India, which – in partnership with other EU Member States and the Alok Shah Foundation – managed to motivate 2,200 volunteers who collected an impressive 48,000 kg of marine debris in Mumbai!

Over in Tunisia, the Delegation, with the help local authorities and associations of divers, organised a whirlwind of an event featuring a beach clean-up, along with a diving clean-up and turtle release.

Walking down the river: the sea starts at your feet

EUbeachcleanup 2022, participants

A little way around the globe, the European Commission, its Representation in Belgium, and the United Nations partnered up with the City of Brussels to clean-up the ocean right at the source of the problem: the litter discarded every day in the streets surrounding us.

With “The Sea Starts Here" initiative, they raised awareness of how our daily habits can affect marine ecosystems from hundreds of kilometres away.

Across the pond, the EU Delegation to the US took the same initiative to clean-up the Anacostia River. To complete the event and go deeper in their comprehension of the marine litter issue, they organised a riveting panel on the matter, featuring none other than the European Commission’s very own Director-General for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, Charlina Vitcheva.

EUbeachcleanup 2022, participants

See you next year for another exciting edition of the #EUBeachCleanup Campaign!

The #EUBeachCleanup campaign is co-organised by the EU, the United Nations and our blue friends, the Smurfs, every year in September, around World Coastal Cleanup Day, to raise awareness about marine litter.


Publication date
28 October 2022
Directorate-General for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries