Hailing from Sweden, ‘plogging’ is a fitness craze that sees participants pick up plastic litter while jogging – adding a virtuous, environmentally driven element to the sport in Hong Kong.
Plogging appears to have started around 2016, but is now going global, due to increasing awareness and fear over plastic levels in the ocean.
The appeal of plogging is its simplicity (all you need is running gear and a bin bag), and the feeling of getting fit while supporting a good cause. By adding regular squats (to pick up junk) and carrying weight to jogging, we can assume the health benefits are increased.
learn how to run and good causes have always gone hand in hand – just think of all the fundraising marathon runners do. But there couldn’t be a more on-trend way of keeping fit than plogging.
“Anything that’s getting people out in nature and connecting positively with their environment is a good thing,” says Lizzie Carr, an environmentalist who helped set up Plastic Patrol, a nationwide campaign to rid our inland waterways of plastic pollution. “There’s been a real shift in the public mindset around plastics, helped by things like Blue Planet highlighting how catastrophic the crisis is,” she says.
“We need to keep momentum high and the pressure up, and empower people through initiatives like plogging and Plastic Patrol.”
The Plastic Patrol app allows users to map plastic anywhere in the world by collecting discarded items, photographing them and uploading to the app, giving us a better knowledge of what sorts of plastic and which brands are being thrown out. “I’d urge all ploggers to get involved,” adds Carr.
Plogging isn’t the first fitness trend to combine running with a good cause. Here are some of our favourites:
Running for the elderly 为老年人跑步
Good Gym’s idea is simple: go for a run, visit an elderly person, have a chat and some tea, and run back. Loneliness among the elderly is a growing problem in the UK, but with over 10,000 runs so far, Good Gym is finding a solution.
Guide running 导盲跑
Guide runners volunteer their time to helping blind people get fit and active. By linking themselves together, the visually-impaired individual can feel safe while both work up a sweat.
Cycling for the homeless 为流浪者骑行
Start-up Stuart Delivery and the Church Housing Trust collaborated last year in bringing clothing and healthy food to the homeless. Deliveries are mostly made by bike, so those who deliver keep fit while helping rough sleepers.