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Tens of thousands clean Norway's beaches

Editor: Zhang Jianfeng 丨CGTN

05-07-2018 09:07 BJT

Tens of thousands of people were engaged in a major beach cleaning operation throughout Norway on Saturday.

"The engagement is absolutely enormous. 45,000 are participating in the big beach cleaning day, which is more than double compared to last year," said Minister of Climate and Environment Ola Elvestuen.

Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg also contributed to the beach cleaning on Saturday, in the Meland municipality, which is north of western city Bergen, the report said.

According to Elvestuen, not only would the waste, which has remained on beaches for many years, be removed but the events would also help raise people's awareness of this global problem.

"This is perhaps the fastest growing environmental issue we have internationally, and it is a huge task to reverse the development. Eight million tons of plastic end up in the sea every year," he said.

"We have to reverse the development and ensure that we have clean seas in future as well. To achieve this, we need to mobilize not only individuals, but also local organizations and companies, and the state must take responsibility," Elvestuen said.

Despite the amount of waste that is still to be found in many places, Elvestuen was optimistic about the future.

"It is a completely different situation now than just five years back in time. It shows that the Norwegian people have woken up, acknowledged the problem and are willing to address it, "he said.

This year's Beach Cleaning Day in Norway is the highlight of beach cleaning week, which runs from April 30 to May 6.

Norway's Beach Cleaning Day was organized for the first time in 2011 and has grown every year since. It is part of an international campaign that has been going on for many years, originating from Ocean Conservancy, a US environmental advocacy group.

Ocean Conservancy coordinates the International Coastal Cleanup (ICC), which falls on the third Saturday of September every year and is the world's largest single-day volunteer effort to remove trash from beaches and waterways.

According to Ocean Conservancy, since the first ICC over 30 years ago, more than 12 million volunteers around the world have removed more than 220 million pounds of trash.

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