Plogging is catching up all over the world. It’s a combination of jogging while picking up waste and rubbish. It started as an organised activity in Sweden around 2016 and has been spreading to other countries. This year, in 2018, because of the growing concern about plastic pollution globally, plogging is being followed by many more countries. Sweden has brought some of the popular mobile apps, some of the best brands, electronic gadgets, Skype etc; its latest offering is plogging. The Swedes are known for their innovative and catchy concepts; it is among the top ten countries in the world in the Global Innovation Index.

Plogging has started becoming the hottest topic on social media. This word has gone viral, making it to Wikipedia and has got its own app.  It’s a combination of the words “plucking” and “jogging.” As a workout, it gives variation in body movements such as bending, squatting and stretching to the main action of running. American author David Sedaris who stays in West Sussex, US combines litter picking with exercise taking up to 60,000 steps a day in pursuit of picking local rubbish. He was so successful in keeping his neighbourhood clean that the local authority named a waste vehicle in his honour for his tireless efforts. Sedaris has become a real local hero.

Erik Ahlström started plogging in the Swedish capital city, Stockholm, when he moved there from the Are Ski resort. In Swedish, “plocka upp” translates to picking up, so you combine that with “jogging” and you get “plogging.” He created the website Plogga to organise the activity and encourage volunteers.

Do you know that the ‘’Keep America Beautiful’’ organisation is now promoting plogging to its affiliates and has found that some already combined exercise with clean up, such as the Trashercizeprogram in Tennessee.

Brazilian poet and writer Paulo Coelho some time ago said “It’s the simple things in life that are the most extraordinary.” Can’t we all simply pick up few pieces of litter each day by taking a stroll of 20 minutes? And, if we decide collectively to do it, imagine the powerful move, we can clean our society of plastic pollution and other litter.

In a city like Mumbai some brave heart citizens are getting together on various issues this like year, saving the city’s green cover to repeated cleanliness drives across its rivers and beaches. One of the major mass movements has been the Versova Beach cleanliness drive that led to removal of more than 5,000 tons of garbage from the beach through consecutive weekly cleanup drives over the year. This activity is lead by Mumbai-based environment lawyer, Afroz Shah. It has gathered thousands of volunteers over time along with support from prominent political leaders and celebrities. The lawyer says that beach litter is only a part of the problem that is suffocating our oceans.

We need many more activists like Afroz to clean up cities across the nation. The biggest problem of storm drains is collection of garbage mainly the plastic bags and bottles obstructing the flow. Each year we hear so many cities facing the mammoth flooding and people and animals dying in the floods. We must make sure trash and other debris does not get caught in the drain. Those items not only clog the drains, they prevent the flow into local rivers and sea. Especially Mumbai each year during monsoon faces this grave problem.

We throw thrash like plastic bottles, glass pieces, paper, cardboard, cement bags, fishing nets, tyres, batteries, food wrappers and automobile scrap whimsically anywhere……we are so callus about the fact that we are suffocating the planet. Let’s take to plogging joyfully, it will help us stay fit and also nurture Mother Nature.

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