TikTok star’s ocean campaign sees people around the world picking up nearly 800,000 garbage in one week
When she started living next to the beach in Barcelona, New Yorker Elizabeth Sherr was shocked to see all the butts and trash soil her golden sands.
The 24-year-old has started a campaign to pick up litter room by room, posting videos on TikTok encouraging others to get involved.
And after a video went viral, it became the star of a global cleanup that removed nearly 800,000 garbage from public spaces around the world in just over a week.
I am the guide to help the planet in your everyday life
The European Parliament asked Ms Sherr to present her campaign for World Oceans Day as June 8 approaches after seeing the video on her TikTok lizlivingblue account.
“The waste challenge was launched to pick up garbage from all over the world,” Ms. Sherr said. I.
“The challenge was to collect 502,000 items between May 28 and June 8. In fact, we have exceeded that target and have 794,207 coins. “
She said people from 33 countries including Norway, Brazil, Honduras and Cyprus participated and many said their attitude towards marine pollution has changed completely since she saw her videos.
“The ocean has always been my passion… I never imagined it would take off like this,” said Ms. Sherr, who works for a non-profit organization fighting deforestation.
She said her success was “an accident” which happened after people had fun when she said in a video “Every follower is garbage.”
Ms Sherr, who has studied marine conservation, says every little action could help save the oceans, whether it’s picking up a cigarette butt or a piece of plastic in the sea.
She says she was inspired to save the oceans by the work of marine biology pioneers Jacques Cousteau and Sylvia Earle.
Single-use plastics are responsible for 49% of all marine pollution, while 27% is caused by fishing-related plastics, according to data from the European Parliament.