During a walk or a run, have you ever noticed some cigarette stubs abandoned on the side of the road?
How often have you seen a napkin or some litter on a mountain path, that caught your attention and ruined for a moment a bucolic atmosphere?
This is the real truth, unfortunately – littering does kill our environment and our oceans, and it needs to be contrasted. We just need to respond in two simple ways: avoiding the abandoning of waste and bending over to collect what has already been left.
For this reason – worldwide and at the same time – a new sport was born to constrast this phenomenon. Initially, jogging collecting abandoned waste did not have a proper name to identify it, but it was already played by many sport enthusiasts and environmental activists.
Then, thanks to the Swedish runner Erik Ahlström, plogging comes up from the contraction of “jogging” and “plocka upp”, to collect in Swedish language. The new term joined a global movement getting together all these common experiences, providing them an identity and a shared mission. Of course, this powerful initiative has been felt in Italy too: Roberto Cavallo’s Keep Clean and Run is the most famous. Every year since 2015, Roberto runs along the country (and beyond) to spread a message of sustainibility.
The worldwide dissemination of plogging activities led ut to the first edition of the World Plogging Championship in 2021. Val Pellice, Piedmont, Italy, became the global capital of this movement. AICA – International Association for the Environmental Communication and E.R.I.C.A. soc. coop. were the promoters of the Championship, which celebrated ploggers and their commitment towards the environment.
For the first time, all the participants to a world competition arrived to the finish line together, carring heavy bags of litter, cheered by the supporters. The first World Plogging Championship made it clear: when we run together for a common purpose, we are all winners.