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  • Writer's pictureHelen

Plog, plog, plog, plog, plog

Updated: Jun 12, 2022

Plogging Litter collecting
Plogging (photo by Bruno Nascimento)

Catching on fast, plogging, the Scando's latest keep-fit fashion.

Previously known as Ecological Running (or walking, if you prefer). Call it what you will. From Thailand to Columbia, Canada to South Africa, it's taking off, and it's cleaning up.

What is plogging?

A craze in which you run ('jogging') and pick up trash (taken from the Swedish term “plocka up”).

Plogging involves picking up bits of litter, and especially plastic, while out walking or jogging. Any litter that doesn't make it into a bin or landfill is quite likely to end up in a drain or a stream or a river, and journeys ultimately to the sea. From there... well, there's a plastic mass ('gyre') twice the size of Texas and three times the size of France floating in the Pacific, the Great Pacific Garbage Patch as it is known, which we really don't need to get any bigger. And that's just one of them. The five biggest are in the North Atlantic, the South Atlantic, the North Pacific, South Pacific, and the Indian Ocean - with plenty smaller ones as well.

(Ref. Seven Dials. F**k plastic. Orion, 2018)

How to plog:

1. Take a bag, preferably compostible or paper, or reusable if you're prepared to wash it.

2. Be prepared to get a little dirty - take your gardening gloves with you.

3. Wear good shoes - you might find yourself going off road at times, all part of the adventure. Take a litter-picker if you have one, makes life much easier.

4. Mix up your route - you'll soon find you've cleaned up your street, and the next one, and the next. Strangely, clean environments don't seem to attract as much litter as dirty ones.

5. Recycle as much of the litter as you can.

Benefits: all that stretching, bending, squatting, lifting, in addition to the running/walking. Great for the back, waist, arms and legs, and for the world.

If you don't believe me, google it.


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