The beauty of plogging

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The beauty of plogging

 KANG KI-HEON
The author is an industry 1 team reporter of the JoongAng Ilbo.

Plogging is a new trend in the environmental movement. You can often find plogging campaigns online. It started in Stockholm, Sweden in 2016. It is a combination of “plocka upp” — the Swedish phrase meaning “pick up” — and jogging.

It means jogging and picking up litter. Ploggers are the people who participate in plogging. On Earth Day on April 22, many ploggers showed off photos of their plogging activities on social media.

With plogging becoming popular, website www.plogging.org has opened. According to the website, plogging includes various acts of picking up litter while running, walking, skateboarding or biking. Picking up plastic from river beds while swimming is also a kind of plogging. Plogging preserves the environment and keeps ploggers healthy. In 2019, the National Institute of Korean Language made up a Korean phrase to replace the word plogging. It is “ssudam daligi.” In Korean, “ssudam” means “patting gently repeatedly.”

Plogging started in Europe and spread to North America and around the world. But with the breakout of Covid-19, the movement has faltered. But interest in plogging is increasing lately, as plastic waste is considered the main culprit of environmental pollution.

Social distancing has contributed to a notable increase in plastic waste around the globe.

In Korea, many companies and local governments announced plogging plans. CEOs of some companies sensitive to the latest fads personally engage in plogging. But it is concerning that plogging could turn into another marketing tactic. An automobile company sold plogging products for donation purposes. A CEO posted a photo of plogging, but it showed he was wearing leather shoes. I don’t mean to undermine their intention, but it is not compatible with the cause of plogging.

All you need to become a plogger is a pair of sneakers, a comfortable outfit and a trash bag.

If you aspire to make a social contribution, it would be great to designate a plogging day once a month, wear sneakers to work and pick up litter while commuting. Every day can be an Earth Day if you make an effort to pick up plastic waste and dispose of it properly.


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