• Tirol CleanUp Days 2022

    CleanUP Days in Austria: Clean up Together for Nature

    Unfortunately, many people leave their rubbish behind when in nature - in the forests, on the mountain, and on the lakeshore. Volunteers regularly set out to pick up the plastic bottles, packaging and junk, setting a valuable example of sustainability and preservation of our natural treasures.

    Environmental Commitment

    CleanUP Days: Every piece counts!

    The CleanUP Days see guests and locals work hand in hand to help keep the vision of an intact, healthy nature alive. They clean alpine regions from paper, packaging materials, bottles and other rubbish. Those joining the initiative don't only set a best practice example, but can also look forward to a collective outdoor experience of a very special kind.

    Behind the initiative stands Patron Plasticfree Peaks (website in German only) - a community of committed people from different backgrounds. Their focus is to promote a healthy relationship with nature, to handle resources in a sustainable way, and to create awareness for environmental issues. Patron stands for consciously enjoying untouched landscapes, avoiding single-use plastic, sustainable manufacturing and against unnecessary packaging. #plasticfreepeaks

    Tirol CleanUp Days 2022

    Together successful for the Environment

    • Some impressive CleanUP facts and figures from 2022: 13 regions, more than 8,000 participants, more than 1,000 cleaned routes, roughly 7,000 kilometres.

    • Patron Plasticfree Peaks also has ambitious plans for 2023: CleanUP Days are planned in around ten regions and federal states, about half of them in Austria.

    • What are the CleanUP Days?

      The CleanUP Days were created by Patron Plasticfree Peaks: Nature lovers who, while biking, climbing and hiking in the mountains, valleys and lakes, had noticed how much litter was left behind there, both consciously and unconsciously. They took the initiative, founded the non-profit association PATRON and have since organized regular CleanUP Days. Like-minded people are invited to join the voluntary rubbish collections. Together, they make an important contribution and send a strong signal for handling the environment respectfully.

    • Where have CleanUP Days been held in Austria so far?

      In 2022, CleanUP Days took place in different regions in the Vorarlberg Montafon, in the Gesäuse National Park in Styria, and in seven Tirolean regions.

    • How can I be part of the CleanUP Days?

      Anyone and everyone can participate! Registration and coordination of routes is done via the PATRON CleanUP map. All participants can select dates and choose their own routes. The required CleanUP kit, consisting of a recyclable and reusable fabric bag and a pair of stainless steel pliers, can be picked up free of charge at one of the drop-off points before setting out. The drop-off points for the equipment as well as - later - the collected rubbish can be found in the CleanUP map.

    • When will the next CleanUP Days take place?

      Anyone who is as passionate about nature as they are about social commitment, environmental protection and sustainability, can join the CleanUP Days. The next PATRON CleanUP Tour in 2023 will also include stops in Austria. Patron Plasticfree Peaks (website in German only) has so far published the following dates and regions in Austria:

      • Tirol CleanUP Days 18 - 21 May 2023
      • Lake Constance CleanUP Days 20 - 25 June 2023
      • Vorarlberg CleanUP Days 7 - 10 September 2023

    The journey continues! Collecting rubbish is a start to help preserve and protect our natural environment.

    Tirol CleanUp Days 2022
    One of the 10 leading ideas of Patron Plasticfree Peaks

    Collecting rubbish for the environment: CleanUP Days How can we get people to stop leaving their litter behind in the wild in the first place?
    PATRON Plasticfree Peaks: Of course we are happy when the environment is cleared of litter in the course of CleanUP Days. However, it is even more important to us to provide food for thought. We are convinced that there is an instinct to protect nature in almost everyone, it just needs to be awakened. Anyone who has gotten their hands dirty themselves, e.g. during our CleanUP Days, develops a completely different awareness when it comes to litter in nature. Additionally, people are made aware of the issue via the press and various social media channels. We firmly believe that if you are well informed, you will start to take action and question your own behaviour. On average, how much litter is collected on a CleanUP Day?
    PATRON Plasticfree Peaks: As mentioned, it is especially close to our hearts to raise awareness for the issue of litter in nature. Nevertheless, an evaluation of the CleanUP Days is important, also to celebrate joint successes. Here, however, we focus less on the amount of rubbish collected. One of the reasons for this is that our rubbish collection is organized in a very decentralized way due to numerous collection points in the participating regions. In addition, conclusions cannot necessarily be drawn from the weight of the waste. Weighing a bag of plastic waste and cigarette butts, for example, often does not produce an impressively high figure, even though plastic and cigarettes represent a major burden to our environment compared with other waste. Last but not least, one central message is important to us: Everyones help counts! That's why we're putting significantly more emphasis on tracking the number of participants and the mileage of routes cleaned. In 2022, together with more than 8,000 volunteers, we were able to free more than 7,000 kilometres of nature from litter. What kind of litter are we predominantly talking about?
    PATRON Plasticfree Peaks: Besides the curious find every now and then, such as an old typewriter or a deep fryer, we usually pick up packaging waste and cigarette butts. Often, unfortunately, also household waste, which is disposed of in nature. Whether carelessly thrown away or lost during the hiking tour, it does not matter. Either way, the rubbish ultimately ends up in the environment and becomes a problem for nature, animals and humans.

    One of the most beautiful hiking regions in the Alps

    CleanUP Days in Tirol

    Tirol has more than five hundred 3,000-meter peaks and over 24,000 kilometres of marked mountain and hiking trails - a truly majestic alpine world. But the numerous nature-loving adventurers come with challenges for the region.

    The top priority is to preserve the diversity and beauty of this special natural area for future generations of both locals and guests. That is why Tirol has joined the CleanUP Days and called for cleaning up its natural treasures. In cooperation with PATRON, the Austrian Tourist Board, the participating Tirolean regions and hundreds of volunteers, rubbish was collected on the mountains, in the forests, on lakeshores and in the communities in July 2022.

    The next Tirol CleanUP days will be held from 18 - 21 May 2023.

    CleanUP Days in Tirol
    Tirol CleanUp Days 2022

    "Minor" environmental sin? This is how long rubbish takes to decompose

    •                 Spruce forests in the Gesäuse National Park / National Park Gesäuse

      Plastic Plastic

      A plastic bottle takes up to 450 years to decompose - but only into microplastics. These particles are smaller but never decompose completely.

    •                 Alp Lech Zürs / Lech Zürs am Arlberg

      Cigarettes Cigarettes

      It takes 10 to 15 years for a cigarette to completely dissolve. What's more, when it gets in touch with water, the poison is washed out and ends up in the groundwater.

    •                 Wandern am Ufer des Achensees

      Paper Paper

      Depending on thickness and production, it takes 6 weeks to 3 years for paper to decompose. However, if it is coated, which is usually the case, it takes significantly longer.

    •                 Landschaft im Montafon / Montafon

      Tissues Tissues

      Although made of cellulose, tissues are made tear-resistant and thus durable. They take 5 years to decompose.

    Litter takes different amounts of time to decompose, depending on the material and the environment in which it ends up. Plastic is a particular problem. A plastic bottle takes up to 450 years before we can no longer see it.

    Tirol CleanUp Days 2022
    Patron Plasticfree Peaks
    National park Gesäuse

    Cleaning up together for a pristine nature

    Part II of the Gesäuse CleanUP Days

    The Styrian region of Gesäuse National Park is an untamed beautiful landscape with wild water, impressive gorges and steep cliffs. The special location allowed a great diversity of species to develop in untouched nature.

    None-the-less, or precisely because of this, the motto here was also: Let's get our hands dirty and clean up together! As many people as possible were invited to give something back to nature. That way, the region made an important contribution to raising awareness for nature and the impact of visitors. Guests and locals alike set out in self-organized small groups to clean up in the mountains and along the Enns and Salza rivers.

    Learn more about the Gesäuse National Park

    For all those who care about sustainability

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