International environmental campaign “Clean Beach” in St. Petersburg
Solution to which problem
The environment of the Baltic Sea is very sensitive in the spaces where the touristic turnover is high. It is visible on the Baltic Sea, both from the amount of pollution on the public beaches, as well as from the loads of the marine litter.
The international annual campaign "Clean Beach" annually takes place in Saint-Petersburg in the frame of cooperation between Saint-Petersburg and other cities of the Baltic Sea Region: Tallinn, Helsinki and Turku. The aim of the campaign is to develop youth cooperation in the field of environmental protection, improve the ecological culture of citizens, develop environmental volunteer movement. The campaign is not only to clean up beaches by voluntary work – it is to give citizens a concrete chance to make a difference to the environmental well-being of the shore through involving and extending voluntary networks and international cooperation for our common Baltic areas.
Clean Beach helps to raise awareness of such issues as marine litter, climate change, biodiversity, SDG. This approach supports developing preventive measures instead of working with consequences of accumulating garbage on the beaches.
For the first time, the international campaign "Clean Beach" was held in 2014 as part of the International Project "Year of the Gulf of Finland – 2014". For 5 years, the "Clean Beach" campaign in St. Petersburg was held at various venues:
- 2014 – “Dubki” park (Kronshtadt).
- 2015 – “Western Kotlin” reserve (Kronshtadt) – more than 100 bags of litter collected.
- 2016 – Krasnoselsky district – 17 teams and 170 bags of litter collected.
- 2017 – South-Western coast of the Kotlin island (in the frame of Year of Ecology in Russia) – 20 teams.
- 2018 – “Tarkhovsky” beach, Kurortny district (St. Petersburg) – 23 teams and more than 100 bags of litter collected.
- 2018 – Leningrad region – more than 250 bags of litter were collected (1/3 part of litter (glass, metal) was collected separately and recycled)
- 2019 – Helsinki, Turku, Tallinn, St. Petersburg, Leningrad region
The Clean Beach campaign is open for participation to associations, societies, business, cities, institutions, students, families, groups of friends, as well as individual citizens. This campaign is an annual contribution to the implementation of the HELCOM Regional Action Plan on Marine Litter, which aims at notable decreasing of marine litter till 2025.
Watch the video from the event in St. Petersburg in 2019 to see an example of a Clean Beach event.
The main principles and ideas of the Clean Beach action are included into the Note of intent, which can be supported by any organization, city, association intending to join the campaign and/or conduct similar event. The Note of intent is already supported by:
- Committee for Nature Use, Environmental Protection and Ecological Safety of St. Petersburg
- City of Tallinn (Estonia)
- City of Helsinki (Finland)
- City of Turku (Finland)
- State company Mineral (operator in Russia)
- Leningrad region (the action in 2018, 2019 was supported by Nord Stream 2 AG)
In 2019 in St. Petersburg, with more than 500 participants, altogether 40 volunteers assisted in the campaign arrangements. 27 teams took part in the competition, which involved
- 19 stations of the environmental quest
- 3 points with information about principles and practices of separate waste collection
- a mobile air monitoring station
- a site to monitor the marine litter in accordance with the HELCOM Guideline
The campaign helped to collect more than 40 m3 litter, among which were 217 bags of recyclable waste consisting of:
- 154 kg of glass
- 120 kg of metal
- 50 kg of PET (including bottles)
- 2 kg metal cans
In Leningrad region, more than 250 participants participated in the campaign forming 14 teams of local citizens. The programme included 10 stations of environmental-educational quest and altogether helped to collect more than 10.5 tons of litter (around 2.5 of litter were sent to recycling).
Since 2018, the Clean Beach campaign in St. Petersburg included monitoring activities in accordance with the HELCOM Guideline for monitoring of marine litter on beaches. In 2019, monitoring of marine litter on beaches was conducted twice – in spring and autumn. The activity was supported by experts in marine litter monitoring, providing HELCOM Working Group on Reduction of Pressures from the Baltic Sea Catchment Area with the data. Results of campaign and monitoring in 2019 in Russia have been presented in Brussels and discussed in several key international fora.
Every year, the Clean Beach campaign attracts more attention, and cities of the Baltic Sea Region are highly encourgated to join it!