Plogging: Picking Trash while jogging

Plogging: Picking Trash while jogging

Plogging is the way of picking up the litter and trash while jogging or walking. The word comes from the Swedish verb “plocka upp'' which means pick up and combining it with “jogga” which means to jog. Plogging is all about combining exercise with environmentalism. Plogging is just not good for your health but also the environment as you squat often while jogging. This fitness trend started by Swede Erik Ahlstrom in the town of Åre, Sweden in  2016 and has since spread to other parts of the world, initially via social media. 

Founder of Plogging : Swede Erik Ahlstrom 

Why should one plog?

  • As we all know plastic pollution is a major crisis in the world. Every year, 300 million tons of plastic are produced, and  8.8 million tons of it get dumped in the oceans. As a result, many species are on verge of extinction. 
  • Majorly to tackle the problem of plastic bombarding on earth, people are taking initiatives on their level. Incorporating plogging into your daily routine is a great option. 
  • Plogging is a better workout than a normal workout. You burn more calories than a usual workout.
  • Sometimes people just see litter/garbage on the road and walk away thinking someone else will pick up. But we should not have this mentality. Everyone should do his/her part to clean the environment. 
  • Litter harms the animals if consumed and contaminates water bodies nearby. Litter should be thrown in the litterbox.
  • It becomes a fun activity when you do in groups. People socialize during their run and picking up trash
  • Last but not least everyone should come together to clean their home planet because there is no planet B to live on.

How to start?

Source: FitIndia
  • There is nothing special that you need for plogging, you can wear the same running shoes that you wear on your jog or run and breathable clothes, additionally you would be needing a pair of sturdy gloves for hands protection, and a trash bag to collect garbage on the go
  • Old age people can also participate in plogging. Along with comfortable shoes, breathable clothes, they could carry a “claw”. It will be extra protection to pick the garbage without hurting their back 
  • Plogging is a group exercise that keeps you motivated. Plogging in larger groups makes you cover more land. It is a good way to start a campaign with your neighbors who want to start plogging
  • It is a very personalized way of exercising with a mindset of cleaning the environment because a clean environment make you healthy 

Plogging in India

  • After getting great momentum across the world from Sweden, Norway, and Denmark to the European nations of Edinburgh and Paris to the USA now it is emerging and becoming a morning fitness routine in India too.  
  • People are finding it interesting because it is not just jogging, it includes a lot of bend and squat which is good for legs and back and your body gets into good shape. 
  • Even our Prime minister Narendra Modi also encouraged people to plogging after he took initiative on his morning walk at  Mamallapuram beach in Tamilnadu for 30 minutes according to his tweet. 

Ploggers in India

source: Ploggers of India
  • Ripu daman bevli is  India’s first plogger and has organized marathons to make India litter-free. He is the founder of “Ploggers of India” He is taking forward the vision of prime minister Narendra Modi’s “Swachh Bharat Abhiyan”. He was also acknowledged by the Prime Minister on his monthly radio broadcast “Mann ki Baat” about his good work and enthusiasm toward clean  India and Fit India campaign.
  • Ripu organized a FitIndia plogging run of over 1000 km covering around 50 cities in India that ended on 5th Dec 2019 at Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, New Delhi. Runners collected 2.7 tonnes of garbage on their way and spread awareness about this new trend. Around 36 lakhs people joined him during this run and continued the practice. He quote on his Facebook page “Leave our footprints, and not carbon footprints''

Benefits of Plogging

  • Stress Buster: Plogging is the stress buster exercise in which you run and your heart rate accelerates. As a result, your body releases endorphins that elevate your mood 
  • Anti-depression: This intensive exercise makes you energetic and drives you far away from negative thoughts. So that you can deal with depression.
  • Strong bones and muscles: Plogging helps in building strong bones and muscles with vigorous exercising 
  • Saving marine life: It helps in saving marine life from plastic bags and cigarette butts which usually tangled in their intestine causing death
  • Exploring activities: Plogging gives you the advantage of exploring your nearby trails and parks that you always wanted to explore

How can we show our support towards Plogging?

Source: FitIndia
  • Spread awareness in your society by communicating with people.
  • Try to run some small campaigns in communities and societies to clean the particular area. Make the best use of social media by creating some random challenges like #collect5 to collect at least 5 kg of garbage in your area, then people put their results on social media. It will boost confidence among people
  • Look for communities and groups nearby that are engaged in plogging. You can start doing it with them. It could be easy with Facebook groups search and google 
  • You can start plogging with kids too, go for a walk and tell them to find the trash so that they can understand that cleaning is not just about home. While doing so, talk about climate change, sustainability, and environmental issues to make them aware


  1. “Public Lecture: Erik Ahlström – the Founder of Plogga or the Plogging Movement.” Stockholm School of Economics in Riga,
  2. “The Beginner's Guide to Plogging: The Virtual Run Challenge ®.” The Virtual Run Challenge, 16 Apr. 2019,


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