The fact: only 15% of the waste produced in Italy is recycled. The problem to be solved: in addition to the issue of so-called illegal dumping, there is a world of abandonment with a high impact called littering. This term indicates the abandonment of small waste, such as cigarette butts, cans, etc.; most of this waste has a plastic matrix and its particles accumulate in the sea. 

In 1997, Captain Moore identified the first island of plastic in the Pacific Ocean. Today we count at least five large islands, in addition to smaller plastic deposits present almost everywhere. In response to this situation, in 2014, the then European Commissioner for the Environment Yanez Potocnik launched the “Let’s Clean up Europe” campaign and, since that year, I have launched the idea of ​​running collecting waste, with the demonstration ” Keen Clean and Run”. Since 2015 I have been running one week a year for about 350 km, collecting small waste, an activity called Plogging. In 2019 we ran along the Po river, sampling microplastics, which are broken up to then enter the food chain and become food for fish and also for us. In fact, Slow Food estimates that traces of plastic are found in 30% of fish. Plogging is a pleasantly engaging physical activity that is good for health, keeps the mood up and conveys a great message: let’s cross a territory and leave it better than we found it.


Roberto Cavallo