Helsinki Mayor joins schoolchildren’s Baltic Sea beach clean, invites residents to pitch in

The City of Helsinki has invited its schoolchildren to participate in a “Saving the Baltic Sea” cleanup campaign. Helsinki Mayor Juhana Vartiainen encourages all other interested parties to arrange a similar cleanup event for their groups of friends or work colleagues, for example. The city will provide all of the necessary equipment and supplies to carry out the work.
On 7 September, Helsinki Mayor Juhana Vartiainen joined students from the Merilahti Comprehensive School in a cleanup event benefitting the Baltic Sea.
On 7 September, Helsinki Mayor Juhana Vartiainen joined students from the Merilahti Comprehensive School in a cleanup event benefitting the Baltic Sea. Photo: Helsingin kaupunki / Helsingfors stad / City of Helsinki

Did you know that every resident of Helsinki lives no more than 10 kilometres from the Baltic Sea? Due to the city’s magnificent maritime location, some of the rubbish thrown on the ground, such as cigarette butts, can end up in the sea. This causes significant problems for the Baltic Sea ecosystem and its organisms.

This year, the City of Helsinki is a partner in the “Save Our Sea” campaign being organized by the 2023 European Green Capital of Tallinn. The campaign started on Baltic Sea Day, 31 August, and will end on World Cleanup Day, 16 September. As part of this year’s campaign, the city has challenged Helsinki’s schools and schoolchildren to clean up the environment. The classes participating in the rubbish collection have been asked to describe the waste they collect and the area they are cleaning, and to share this content on social media with the tags #balticseachallenge, #saveoursea and #balticseacleanup.

Helsinki Mayor Juhana Vartiainen wanted to participate in this valuable work to care for the Baltic Sea, and so, on Thursday, 7 September, he too participated in the Merilahti Comprehensive Schools beach clean, alongside the schoolchildren.

“We can all protect the Baltic Sea by being mindful of our own actions and choices. I encourage every resident of our city to participate in cleanup efforts benefitting the Baltic Sea. The City of Helsinki will provide you with all the equipment you need. You’ll also get a nice dose of exercise and feel better,” Mayor Vartiainen said.

Rubbish collection and cleanup events can be organized for a group of friends or a work community in association with the campaign between 31 August–16 September and any time after this. Grabber tools are available from the city’s libraries during opening hours, and residents of the city can order cleanup supplies a week before the event from the city’s cleanup website.

The City of Helsinki is also organising five cleanup events on World Cleanup Day, 16 September 13.00–16.00. The events are open to everyone, and the city will provide participants with all the necessary equipment and a snack. The events will be held in the following parks, located throughout the city: 

• Vuosaari district, Mustankivenpuisto park
• Kallio district, Karhupuisto park
• Koskela-Käpylä-Kumpula districts, Playground Intia
• Jätkäsaari district, Hyväntoivonpuisto park and
• Kannelmäki-Malminkartano districts, Soittajanpuisto park.