1. Home
  2. /
  3. Green life
  4. /
  5. What is plogging and why should you try it

What is plogging and why should you try it


Maybe you've already seen amateur athletes running around the park and slowing down every now and then to pick something up, or perhaps you haven't come across any ploggers yet, but you've heard of this new kind of eco-friendly exercise and want to figure out if it's for you. Whatever might have been your first encounter with plogging, you are in the right place! Here you will find out what it is, how it started and if it has the potential to become your new favorite activity to keep you in shape.

Plogging: translation and meaning

Plogging” is a neologism that comes from the merger of two terms: jogging and “plocka upp”, that in Swedish means “to collect from the ground”. In fact, it is precisely in Sweden that this new movement has become popular and, thanks to internet, it became known to the rest of the world, capturing the attention of increasingly more and more people sensitive to environmental issues around the globe. The translation of plogging and the words that compose it also helps us understand what this sport consists of.

What is plogging?

It is a physical activity that entails jogging with a small variation, that is, taking very quick breaks to bend down, collect garbage that is on the ground and then continue running. If you prefer a less intense workout, you can replace jogging with a brisk walk: after all, the goal of plogging is to stay in shape and keep parks and cities clean, regardless of your running pace.

How was plogging born?

The sport of plogging was born in 2016 in Stockholm, it was an idea of Erik Ahlström. Ahlström had noticed a significant amount of garbage along the road he walked every day to go to work. Garbage that stayed in the same place even for weeks. So he decided to start picking it up and throwing it in recycling bins. This slowly became a habit and he integrated it into his workout routine, involving friends and acquaintances. Plogging rapidly became a movement in Sweden, later spreading around the world thanks to fitness and environment lovers.

The rules of plogging

Everyone can plog, just follow a few simple rules that respect the environment and safeguard our safety.

  • Do not pick up sharp or rusty materials, such as pieces of glass or iron;
  • Do not pick up syringes or needles;
  • Do not collect bulky items such as mattresses or furniture;
  • Try to sort materials at the end of the walk.

If you come across a bulky or dangerous object, notify the relevant authorities: they will remove it.

The benefits of plogging: for you and the environment!

The positive impact of plogging is not limited to sustainability! In fact, practising the sport benefits both body and mind. It helps you stay fit and fitter, builds stamina and allows you to burn many more calories than a normal run. The squats and squats performed to pick up waste are muscular, firming the legs and also the arms.

Like other sports activities, plogging reduces insomnia, relieves stress and stimulates the release of endorphins, the 'happy hormones'. Spending a few moments helping the environment, perhaps in company, helps boost self-esteem and self-confidence, both physically and mentally.

Plogging tour of Italy: sack races

The plogging-mania has literally gone round the country: in February 2022, the fans of this new sport set off from Pordenone and are about to run the last stages of 46 Sundays, tracing a green Giro d'Italia that will end on 27 November 2022.

But that's not all: the World Plogging Championship 2022, a real world championship with specific races, organised by the International Plogging Committee to spread sports and environmental awareness, is also starting.

What do you need to go plogging?

The equipment needed to practice plogging is very simple: a pair of running shoes, a water bottle to fill up at public fountains, correct sportswear, a pair of gloves for picking up the garbage that you find and a bag to collect it in. Plogging can be done alone or in a group, but in both cases it is useful to have a precise itinerary in mind. To find a new area to explore and clean up, consult the Acea Waidy Wow app and discover the city or nature trails closest to you!