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France national park rewards litter-picking visitors

Anyone found picking up litter or clearing up their mess while out in the Calanques National Park this summer could win a prize, thanks to an initiative to promote good habits.

The popular national park is bringing back an initiative that it launched last year which rewards visitors to the park who are clean and tidy. Anyone “caught red handed” tidying up their litter after a picnic or anyone seen picking up a stray piece of rubbish could be entered into a draw to win a prize worth €68. 

The park has named the initiative flagrant delit de bon geste or ‘blatant act of good deed’, and hopes that rewarding good behaviour, rather than punishing bad behaviour, will encourage people to keep the park clean. 

Around 40 park staff will be patrolling the park, and if they see someone responsibly tidying litter they can ask if the person would like to be entered into the draw. Alternatively, visitors to the park can also show the litter they have collected to park staff to be entered into the draw. In mid-September, thirty winners will be chosen at random and sent their prizes. 

The sum of €68 is the same amount as the fine that people can get for dropping litter in the park. 

Last year, around 60 people were entered into the draw and 15 winners were chosen. 

“Apart from its main gateways, the National Park is poorly equipped with rubbish bins,” a press release for the initiative stated, noting that the Calanques is intended to be a natural wilderness. 

“The cleanliness of the site therefore depends on each person and their commitment to bringing back and sorting out the things that they take on their visit.”

Another initiative, called Clean My Calanques, saw 140 volunteers clean up over one tonne of litter from the national park in July this year. 

The Calanques National Park is located in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region in southern France. The area extends over 50,000 hectares in total, the majority of that being sea. There are 140 protected land animals and plant species as well as more than 60 marine heritage species living in the park.

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