How plogging can help you get involved in #lockdowncleanup

Is running part of your training during lockdown? Why not run for not just your health but also the environment’s health? Paul Waye tells us how!

Paul Waye, founder of Waye of Life who has committed to plogging on beach and every run, bike or swim, tells us everything we need to know about plogging and how we can get involved.

So, Paul, what is plogging?

Plogging is a word that was created by a group of Swedish people in 2016 to describe the activity of picking up litter while running – it is simply a combination of the worlds picking up (plocka upp) and jogging (jogga).

Since then, it has become a worldwide phenomenon associated with litter picking in combination with sport; but don’t limit yourself just to running and jogging! Why not try plycling (cycling) or palking (walking).

What made your start plogging?

Even though the word plogging has only existed since 2016, that doesn’t mean people weren’t doing it before that. This year, I am celebrating my 10-year anniversary of the first social media post I made on the subject, you can view this here.

I used to run to the train station along the beautiful country lanes of East Sussex and was horrified at the amount of trash in the bushes. So, I started picking it up! Unfortunately, there weren’t many bins around, so I use to leave the full bags of litter outside a garden centre – I hope they didn’t mind!

What would be your top tips for someone who wants to start plogging?

Easy! Keep it small and fun. So, if you go out for a run, try picking up a single item, or maybe a handful, during your warmup. Put it in a bin and carry on with your run. It’s as easy as that and it has no impact on you, but it does make an impact for our environment. That single piece of trash turns your run into something that is not just good for you, but great for everyone. When you do it, think about how it makes you feel. There is nothing wrong with feeling proud, you did something very cool!

Also, tell others about it. Not to brag or to say look how cool I am, but instead to say, wow, it was easy, why not give it a go? If they join in, then suddenly the impact is even bigger. It is important to stress during COVID-19 to be safe, make sure to use gloves and perhaps focus on items that have been lying on the ground for ages (there is sadly plenty of litter like that!). You can also contact me for further tips and advice by sending me an Instagram DM @wayeoflife or email me at wayeoflife@gmail.com

Do you have a specific hashtag people can use in their posts to show their plogging?

First one that comes to mind is #plogging of course! But also include things such as #keepbritaintidy, #trashtag or #litterpicking. The great thing about #plogging is that it gives us a word and a hashtag to use. It is so much easier than… #todayiwasoutjoggingandpickedupsometrashtoo!

How do you see how sport can improve sustainability going forward?

Numbers. You can have a person picking up 1000 pieces of litter, and that’s amazing. But, if 1000 people pick up one piece of litter, then the impact is greater. With so many people around the world keeping fit through running, we have a chance to pick up millions of pieces of litter! If we all pick up one piece each time we go out, now, that would be an amazing impact sport (and we) could have on our world.

Thank you so much Paul Waye, you are a true inspiration! Now you’ve finished reading Paul’s brilliant advice, head over and follow @wayeoflife on Instagram and go and get plogging to do your bit for #lockdowncleanup! Remember to share your plogging photos and tag The Big Plastic Pledge, we love to see how sport can make a sustainable impact.

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