The Clean-up Norway programme

The Clean-up Norway programme is Norway’s first national cleanup programme. The goal has been to clean 40 percent of the outer coastline of Norway before the end of 2023, and as the first phase is coming to an end, the goal is within reach. The programme will continue from 2024 onwards.

The Clean-up Norway programme - cleaning the world's second longest coastline


Since we initiated Norway's first national cleanup programme in 2020, we have spent more than NOK 400 million (USD ~37 million) on cleaning through the Clean-up Norway programme.

So far,

  • More than 21,500 km of coastline has been cleared

  • More than 2,850,000 kg of plastic and other waste has been cleared from nature


The Gulf stream provides livelihoods for thousands of Norwegians, bringing warm, nutritious waters to our northern reaches. At the same time, the North Atlantic Current brings marine debris from both sides of the Atlantic Ocean to our shores. Counting fjords, islands and islets, Norway has the second longest coastline in the world, of which many parts are highly impacted by marine debris, even in the most unavailable and remote locations. The many fjords and coves become hotspots for marine debris, and the sea, wind and geography make the areas hard and dangerous to reach due to harsh weather conditions.

The Clean-up Norway programme addresses these issues, demonstrating how professional clean-ups can successfully tackle the issue of plastic pollution. Professional actors ensure health, safety and environment considerations are implemented in all practices, including the care of birdlife and biodiversity.



Instead of a plastic bag tax, the Norwegian Retailers’ Environment Fund receives NOK 2 (USD ~0.2) for every plastic bag sold by member retailers in Norway. This money funds, among other projects, the Clean-up Norway programme, helping clean hard-to-reach parts of Norway's coastline.

The programme ensures local engagement through the division into 10 regions. For each regional project, the six steps below are followed:

  1. Use existing data to map which areas should be cleaned and when

  2. Create a regional advisory board of stakeholders

  3. Engage a regional administrator for each region

  4. Engage professional cleaners (private and inter-municipal companies and NGOs)

  5. Reporting in an open access GIS-map - a national administration solution for marine debris

  6. Evaluation

The programme engages different levels of government, both local, regional and national, organizations, NGO’s and businesses working together – which has been a critical success factor for the program