On Saturday the 21th of September 2019, 20 million people in the world cleaned up our planet for World Cleanup Day. Last year there were 13 million. Is consciousness on the rise? In Nice, France it was an efficient, inspiring and pretty happy day.

Our journey of the day

At 9.30 am, a little crowd starts to take shape at Square Général Leclerc on the Coulée Verte in the city centre of Nice. Usual ploggers, volunteers and curious minds are getting to know each other while drinking a cup of coffee. Others walk around to discover pieces of art made from waste showed all day by the artists for this occasion. After a welcoming speech, waste bags are distributed and a few instructions are given. We are more than ready to start cleaning our city!

Our path from the Coulée Verte is one of the 7 itineraries happening in Nice that day thanks to our partners : Global Shapers, Galice association in Moulins and Vallon des Fleurs, Action Propreté 06 on Castel Plage, Amcor, Ocean Conservancy and la Jeune Chambre Economique on the beaches, ALC in the port, le CROUS Nice-Toulon on Campus Jean Médecin, etc.

Under a cloudy sky, we enthusiastically walk down the streets of the Old Town and the Promenade des Anglais. Kids, teenagers and adults of all ages join forces and we have to say that with our Plogging t-shirts, our trash bags and our bottles full of cigaret butts, people notice us! They ask questions and encourage us, it gives us the perfect opportunity to talk about our weekly plogging sessions.

Our collect ends in the port to visit a new machine: Chrysalis. Presented by the association Earthwake, this device does the unbelievable: transform plastic into diesel. It’s able to produce 120L of diesel from 160 kg of plastic waste, a way to value waste instead of discharging it in the sea.

Two hours later we return to the Coulée Verte, where we meet the volunteers from other itineraries. All the trash bags are weighed and the cigaret butts accumulated in a big transparent display to count them.

Wim Kiezenberg, Founder of the association everyday.earth and co-initiator of World Cleanup Day in Nice and Pierre-Paul Léonelli, Deputy Mayor of Nice, speak for the press conference and reveal the outcome of this morning: 1.7 tons of waste and 85.000 cigaret butts collected.

There is an opportunity to remind us of the importance of sensibilization and education during these large manifestations but also every single day.

“A big challenge awaits us all. The way 7 billion people live on the planet and we will be over 9 billion by 2050, is simply not sustainable. We can start today, also in Nice, France by taking care of ourselves, the planet and our local environment we live in. It all starts with ourselves and nobody else. We can do this!” – Wim Kiezenberg, everyday.earth

We end up this World Cleanup Day in the grass for a picnic, tired but satisfied and proud of our action.

What’s next?

Everyday.earth will produce a short film of this World Cleanup Day in Nice. We will invite our local government, associations, citizens and local businesses to see this film. A chance to have collaborative discussions on how we can create a cleaner future for our local environment, the planet and all life on it. Here is a teaser!

Credits: Music by Lakey Inspired | Video edit by Ducaz Visuals

We have seen exponential growth in plogging locations in the Cote d’Azur in one year. Numerous local cleanups have been organized all year long. World Cleanup Day was introduced last year and has now grown into a movement of events along the coast, from Cannes to Monaco. We are delighted to see this happening.

Everyday.earth is committed to being a facilitator for a cleaner future. In 2020 we aim to bring our proven campaigns, that always have a hands-on dynamic positive approach to other cities in Europe.

We encourage everyone to be the change. The change we need in our culture, economy and environment. Our goal in the future is to be a driver of this global movement. In Nice, in the Cote d’Azur and beyond.

More information:

Nice Plogging: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Waste collect every Wednesday at 6.30 pm, usually departing from Place du Pin, Nice

everyday.earth (the association organizing Nice Plogging and World Cleanup Day Nice): Facebook page | Facebook group |  Meetup.com