World Cleanup Day 2022

We inherit this planet from our ancestors and we also borrow it from our children.
World Cleanup Day 2022

A day to raise global awareness about the waste problem and inspire meaningful action.

At times, the scale of the global waste problem can feel unbelievably daunting. Almost every day a new report is released highlighting the vastness of the problem and the challenges that lay ahead for our planet. We’ve all read the frightening headlines, and we’ve all clicked the links.

Here are three of the most staggering stats I’ve come across recently:

  • Each year, 8 million metric tonnes of rubbish flow into our oceans. That’s the equivalent of 1 garbage truck of trash emptying into the seas every minute. Yeah, you read that right. EVERY. MINUTE.
  • By 2025 (that’s only three years away, y’all!) we’ll be putting enough plastic in our oceans that if we converted that plastic to cling wrap, we could cover the entire surface area of the planet.
  • By 2050, it’s estimated that there could be more plastic in the ocean (by weight) than fish. More plastic than fish! What the?

    But Don't Give Up Hope!

    With stats like this making the rounds of internet-land, it’s easy to be overwhelmed by the vastness of the problem. It’s easy to be discouraged. To be depressed. To be daunted by the task at hand. 

    But we mustn’t give up hope. Because hope is audacious. Hope is infectious. Hope is power.

    Each of us has the power to change the future. There are solutions. If we work together, we can solve the global waste problem!

    I’ve spent almost every waking moment of my existence for the past few years thinking about this problem and how best to solve it, at scale, globally. I’d be lying if I said I hadn’t had my moments of frustration and exasperation. But each day, I try to remain focused on the big, audacious goal we’ve laid out for Zero Co…to untrash the planet.

    Leaving a Lasting Legacy

    I will soon become a father, and for the first time, I’ll feel the pull of intergenerational responsibility. 

    I’ve been fortunate enough to visit some of the planet’s most remote and far-flung corners, places most people have never even heard of, like Nagaland, Tajikistan and Kamchatka. I’ve been incredibly fortunate in my life to visit vast, remote areas of deep wilderness.

    I hope that one day I can take my child to those places and that they too can experience the otherworldly awe that comes from being alone, deep in the deepest pockets of nature. I hope that those places remain wild. I hope that those places remain untrashed.

    That’s what drives me to do the things we do every day at Zero Co.  

    I want to ensure that future generations have the opportunity to experience untouched wilderness in all its powerful forces. We inherit this planet from our ancestors and we also borrow it from our children.

    So today, on World Cleanup Day, I wanted to share the impact that Zero Co has had on the global waste problem and plant a seed about our audacious vision for the future.

    Zero Co’s Cleanup Impact:

    Since launching, less than two years ago, Zero Co has:


    These are incredible results, and we are deeply proud of our work. But we’re nowhere near done. In fact, we’re just getting started!

    We’re so passionate about making sure that we can scale this ever-so-important work that we’re deep in the final stages of planning an(other) audacious undertaking that will support us to increase our cleanup impact twenty-fold. Yep, TWENTY FOLD! It’s one of our most exciting projects yet and will ensure that the waste problem becomes a truly intergenerational responsibility. 

    All will be revealed soon, so stay tuned for how you can be involved! I can’t wait to share this project with you and the world. 


    Mike Smith

    (Used Pouch Salesman)

    Founder + CEO, Zero Co

    Published on Thursday 15 September, 2022