It’s not often that a viral hashtag on social media goes beyond those media. But an online challenge encouraged tens of thousands of people to clean up places.
In the Trashtag Challenge, users choose a place filled with garbage, clean it up, and post before and after photos. Volunteers cleaned up beaches, parks and roads, while realizing how much plastic garbage is produced.
Residents of Novosibirsk also accepted the challenge. The Russians collected 233 bags of garbage by the river, 75% of which will be sent for recycling.
The challenge was reportedly created in 2015 by UCO Gear as part of a campaign to protect wilderness areas. But last week’s Facebook post has apparently given it new life and made the hashtag viral. There were more than 28,000 posts on Instagram alone.
«Getting plastic out of the environment is important,» said Mark Butler from a Canadian environmental charity center. «We need to do more than go behind the people that are littering and clean it up. We need to turn off the plastic tap,» he said, adding that he hoped the campaign would lead to fundamental changes in attitude to plastics. If plastics are not collected and not recycled, then we will have to clean up the garbage with no end in sight.