Walking to campaign against litter

3rd of October 2023
Walking to campaign against litter

Christian Bouzols in France tells us about a dustman who’s raising litter awareness in a unique way.

Ludovic Franceschet, a dustman already known for his posts on Tik Tok, has started out on a new adventure. Having walked around Paris in August last year to clean the streets, he’s set himself a new challenge consisting in walking to Marseilles and picking up all the litter he finds along the way. The kick-off for this 800 km journey took place on August 1st in front of Notre-Dame cathedral. He was planning to arrive at a local beach in Marseilles on September 24th.

Franceschet’s goal is the same as the one he set himself walking around Paris: to pick up as much litter as possible and, above all, to make people aware of the need to correct their mindset relating to litter.

“I want people to understand me, and to realise that putting litter in a dustbin is not such a difficult thing. Anyone can do it. This action should just be normal,” says the 47-year-old whose teaching videos about his quest on social media have created a great buzz. He’s currently got 300,000 followers. Two of them have decided to go with him on this Marseilles trip.

“Thanks to Ludovic I’ve come to realise there was really too much litter on the roadside or in natural surroundings,” said Tony, a 22-year-old waiter. “To be honest, I too used to throw pieces of paper on the ground.  So I felt guilty. Joining him on this project was a bit like finding forgiveness.“

The team also includes Patrick, driver of the camper van, and Maxime, 22, who picks up litter with Franceschet. “That wasn’t planned at all,” remarks the dustman, who had intended to walk alone. “But their help is obviously welcome and has enabled us to pick up even more litter.”

Since their departure, they’ve walked along the famous Nationale 7 highway. “However, when it gets a little too risky, we change our itinerary and walk along local roads,” says Franceschet. “The traffic is slower there.”

Equipped with rolls of bin liners and litter pickers, he and his two co-workers collected some 2.6 tonnes of litter in the first few days. “Usually it’s packaging, plastic bottles, cigarette packs.... they’re lying everywhere. In the Fontainebleau forest, we’ve picked up nearly 1,500 drinks cans! It surely isn’t such a big thing to throw them in a dustbin.”

Fervent in his fight for cleanliness and environmental care, Franceschet was shocked by his passage through Orly, near Paris. “We collected more than 140  kg of litter in a single day. It was a disgrace!”

Although he circled Paris on foot a year ago, Ludovic Franceschet hadn’t seriously prepared himself for this much longer walk to Marseilles.

And even though his arrival in that port city is still far away, he is already thinking about something new. “I’ve got in mind to do a tour of France on foot with the same goal - to pick up all the litter I find along the way.”

That would involve 4,000 km of walking, to be achieved in one year. But to do that, he’ll need to raise the funds. “For that journey I think I’ll manage with about 20,000 euros. Whatever happens, I won’t give up,” he stressed. For the Paris-Marseilles trip, he has received support from several companies, from the City of Paris, and from the Ile-de-France region.


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