The confinement has a sort of “kick-start” effect on Sunday joggers, who take to the streets to run and vent the stress of telecommuting, stay fit despite travel restrictions, or just to enjoy the fun. a certain feeling of freedom despite the reconfinement. With this craze for running, a new trend has gained momentum, to combine sport and environmental awareness: “plogging”, a fashionable activity during confinement. Have no idea what “plogging” means? We will explain everything to you.
Plogging means “to pick up while running” in French.
This activity consists of collecting litter during the jogging course, to make the run more fun and more mindful. It is Sweden, the country of Greta Thunberg that saw the birth of this term and this trend. The word comes from the Swedish “plocka upp” which means to collect, and its benefits are not only evident for the planet. According to some followers, the jogger, equipped with a garbage bag, when picking up waste found along his running route, also trains more effectively, because he can vary the movements of the body by adding flexions. and stretching. The race is therefore less monotonous, and the sports session is much more complete, which is interesting when the gyms have been closed for a while.
A social and engaged activity thanks to social networks
Even if it is forbidden to practice group plogging, due to barrier measures, communities in France are starting to organize themselves on social networks to unite all those who have converted to ecological running. Via Facebook groups and online communities, the movement is starting to gain momentum in France. Ploggers can exchange with other followers and compare the amount of garbage collected to give an even more competitive appearance.
A Belgian app maps the trend
But where to go to find a course with enough waste for a busy plogging session? Belgians Alex Callant and Bernard Herbert had the idea of optimizing plogging by developing a free application (We plog) to visualize on a map the paths which have been recently cleaned, marked in green, and the streets or routes which could need the passage of a plogger, indicated in red.
The map updates in real time, which allows the plogger to change his route even at the last moment. On the collaborative principle of an application like Waze, users can send an alert with a GPS location if they notice a problem to report, such as a wild dump, and can add a photo to describe the situation if necessary.
Uberization of garbage collection for cities?
The app’s strategy is to become a paid service for cities that want to organize coordinated citizen pickups. According to Alex Callant, co-founder of the application, municipalities can subscribe to an annual license to benefit from additional features, such as viewing statistics with the quantity of waste collected, the degree of cleanliness of the municipality, the number users or the number of sessions, and thus better manage their litter collection policy.
Plogging is not only a free way to clean the paths, explains Alex Callant, but it also helps educate people not to throw things on the ground.
A hashtag to make plogging viral
In Marseille, on November 1st, a hashtag was launched on TikTok to launch a citizen waste collection challenge. With the hashtag #nettoietonkm Benjamin de Molliens encourage citizens to collect waste during their one-hour outing, authorized within a radius of one kilometer around their home. He hopes that digital waste cleaning appointments will multiply across France even after the confinement period, thanks to this viral challenge. It has been shared on social media by figures like Joey Starr, and has even been picked up by US, Canadian and UK media.