17,000 Niantic players helped collect 145 tons of trash around the world for Earth Day 2019

Niantic has revealed 17,000 Pokemon Go and Ingress players around the world collectively volunteered a total of 41,000 hours to collect 145 tons of trash in the name of Earth Day 2019. The impressive feat brought the player communities together with non-government organisations to collect rubbish from various different locations across the globe and raise awareness about the environment. 

According to Niantic, over 300 player events were hosted across 41 countries and six continents to help make the world a greener place. “We’re astounded with how much everyone involved has achieved - an effort like this highlights how much impact people can have when they work together”, Niantic said in a blog post about the event, “Players worked in groups of 1 to 2,500, alongside government agencies, volunteer organizations, and fellow community members, creating incredible impact.”

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Niantic also shared some of the efforts made by different non-government organisations and players. Pure Earth came together to hold an educational workshop in the Philippines to collect trash and create “eco bricks” - which are made out of plastic bottles filled with rubbish - to show how they could be used as insulation, or reinforced with mud to make durable walls. And a group in Taiwan used the event to run an educational program in a local elementary school to teach the students how greenhouse gases influence the Earth, and what they can do collectively to help reduce waste. 

This is the second year Niantic has brought its communities together for Earth Day. Last year, Pokemon Go’s Earth Day Clean Up event saw 4,200 trainers across 19 countries collect 6,500 Kgs of waste. To raise awareness for the cause, Pokemon Go holds special limited-time events, with this year's event seeing an increase in grass types, as well as giving players the chance to catch a shiny Diglett up until May 2. 

The amount of work and effort that went into the event is truly outstanding, and it just goes to show how wonderful gaming communities can be when they work together. 

Still trying to be very best, like no one ever was? Check out our Pokemon Go legendaries guide for some helpful tips. 

Heather Wald
Senior staff writer

I started out writing for the games section of a student-run website as an undergrad, and continued to write about games in my free time during retail and temp jobs for a number of years. Eventually, I earned an MA in magazine journalism at Cardiff University, and soon after got my first official role in the industry as a content editor for Stuff magazine. After writing about all things tech and games-related, I then did a brief stint as a freelancer before I landed my role as a staff writer here at GamesRadar+. Now I get to write features, previews, and reviews, and when I'm not doing that, you can usually find me lost in any one of the Dragon Age or Mass Effect games, tucking into another delightful indie, or drinking far too much tea for my own good.