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The cleaning patrol strikes again!

Throughout 2023, the CleanUp Aveiro project carried out several clean-up actions in the streets of the municipality of Aveiro and on the beach and estuary of the municipality of Ílhavo. These resulted in the collection of 150,000 cigarette butts and more than 1.2 tons of waste, with the participation of around 1,000 volunteers.

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© Helder Berenguer

Walking down the street and noticing the cigarette butts on the sidewalk, or walking on the sand at the beach and realizing that we've almost cut our feet with glass left behind, are things that may seem insignificant, but when you add up these small actions, you come to an undeniable conclusion: the planet is becoming littered.

The “CleanUp Aveiro” project, which has been running for three years, brings together the efforts of the community - individual citizens, associations, companies and other entities - in a civic movement that involves waste collection actions in the streets, forests, rivers and beaches of the region, around a common goal: to make our streets, our estuary and our beaches a cleaner place.

In 2023 we carried out two beach clean-ups in the municipality of Ílhavo, between April and June, together with Grestel employees, their families and a group of students from the Aveiro Professional School (EPA), where around 160 participants collected a ton of garbage. Among this waste we found glass bottles, tires, ropes, cans, fishing cages, pallets, octopus traps, crockery and old televisions.

Regarding cigarette butt collections, with the involvement of around 850 participants, we managed to collect more than 150,000 cigarette butts between April and June, in conjunction with the EPA, the José Estêvão and Dr. Mário Sacramento School Groups, the Aveiro University Academic Association, the Aveiro University Clan, the BioLiving Association and Exodus Aveiro Fest. As a way of making the whole community aware of the problem of the improper disposal of cigarette butts, they were put on display in our "Beatão" at the Aveiro Forum between July and September. The "Beatão" is a structure built by our partners, S-Vitech and Consórcio EPA-Ferpinta-Herculano. The butts will then be sent to Rede Biatakí, which will be responsible for their treatment and recovery.

And let's not forget the last action, cleaning up the estuary. This October, volunteers from Agora Aveiro got together to collect waste from the banks of the Ria de Aveiro. 102.3 kg of waste, including glass, fishing nets, diapers and tires were collected, in the municipality of Ílhavo.

Finally, we were able to launch the CleanUp Aveiro website (, which now includes information on all the activities carried out - collecting cigarette butts, but also cleaning up the beaches and the Ria de Aveiro.

“CleanUp Aveiro” is an Agora Aveiro project organized in collaboration with the Escola Profissional de Aveiro. It counts on Forum Aveiro, Consórcio EPA-Ferpinta-Herculano and JR Mudanças as “Silver Partners”. It had partnerships with the Agrupamento de Escolas José Estêvão, Agrupamento de Escolas Mário Sacramento, Clã Universitário de Aveiro, Associação Académica da Universidade de Aveiro, Rede Biatakí and Associação Bioliving. The project also counts with the support of the Município de Aveiro, the  “Voluntariado Jovem para a Natureza e Florestas” program and the Instituto Português do Desporto e Juventude I.P..

Beatriz Meneses