Plogging is the combination of litter picking and jogging.  Started by eco & fitness conscious Swedes and it’s really caught on.  It’s estimated that 20,000 people plog every day in more than 100 different countries.   It’s easy to get involved, simply add a pair of safety gloves and a rubbish bag to your running kit.  As you jog keep an eye out for litter, when you spot some, squat down and pick it up, put it in the bag and then keep running.  It’s as easy as that!   There are lots of groups


How to Get Fit Plogging

If you’re out running, you’re already getting fitter but there are a few ways you can enhance your plogging run to get the most out of your time.

Sprint between the pieces of rubbish. Treat it like a high intensity training (HIT) exercise.  For best cardiovascular results run less than 10k and intensify the experience by adding in sprints or jumping.

Stretch / do muscle building exercises.  When you drop down to pick up rubbish squat or do other leg work such as bending down on one leg.  You can do multiple reps at each stop if the litter is widely spaced.  If there’s lots of litter do 10 x reps of a particular exercise and then change. 

Swap the rubbish bag between hands. It can get heavy towards the end of a run so make sure you treat your arms equally.

Get competitive. If you head out with a group see who’s the best by weighing the litter at the end of the run or by counting the amount of items as you go.  It’s a new kind of PB!

Wellness.  Plogging is a great workout but also has the additional benefit of the feel good factor not just from the endorphins from the run but from the satisfaction that you are helping the planet and stopping rubbish from ending up in our waterways.   

Connect with your community.  People will be inspired by seeing you and will hopefully get involved too, even if getting involved simply means being more considerate of their waste.   

Mix it up.  You don’t have to run. You can get involved with plogging litter picks by walking, cycling, skateboarding, paddle boarding… any form of movement is accepted and the more different types of movement you do in a week the fitter you will be!  The core value is become a proud litter picker however you do it.     


What to do with rubbish from litter picking?

The answer to this question varies dependent on where you are and what kind of rubbish you have collected.  If you are an individual you may well be able to use your household bins to dispose of the waste, do try and separate the recycling out for maximum effectiveness.   If you are part of a group you should contact your local council.  Normally they are keen to support litter pickers and may offer you rubbish bags, litter picking kit and somewhere to drop the rubbish too once collected.

A quick safety note – don’t collect anything that is very heavy or sharp when plogging.  Make a note of where these things are and let your local council know. They will send a team to sort out the problem.   

 

Get Involved

There may well be groups of ploggers local to you to join.  Look for local Facebook Groups, google plogging in your area or take a look at: The Great Global Cleanup | Join a Cleanup (earthday.org)  There are lists of local groups running events for National Cleanup Day.

 

A Final Thought

The inventors of plogging ask the question:

What would happen if everyone picked up one piece of litter every day?