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Plogging makes the leap into the water: from picking up trash while running to doing it from a kayak


First it was the Swedes who decided to combine physical exercise with caring for the environment, and now the Australians are taking another step into the water

A woman picks up a bag of potatoes in Sydney.
Playing sports is good for Health, but doing it while picking up trash is also for him environment. This ‘sport modality’ that was born in Stockholm and soon conquered many athletes in Europe and the United States has gone one step further and the asphalt has jumped into the water.

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The ‘plogging’, a term that merges the English expression running (to run) with the Swedish ‘plocka upp’ (to pick up), has found a new variant in Australia with organized kayak tours to do sports while helping to clean the waters of the port of Sydney. Two in one.

Fans of plogging say that 300 calories can be lost in just 30 minutes between running and the squats that they do every time they bend down to pick up any debris that, instead of ending up in a trash can, has ended up littering the floor. In addition, you only need to bring a garbage bag and a music player and headphones if you want to liven up the walk.

For the kayak variant, in addition to the bag in question, a paddle and a strainer are required to catch garbage remains. And little else, just the desire to row and take care of the environment.

In Australia they have become popular these kayak garbage collection tours.Clean up Kayak offers tours of the port of Sydney, where in addition to enjoying this sporting experience the garbage of the port is cleaned.

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“We have been quite surprised by the success, even during the pandemic. We have been very busy,” the founder of this initiative explained in a statement to Reuters. Laura Stone. “Since they cannot travel, people are looking for something to do that is not only for themselves but also for the environment.”

They make four or five outings each week and manage to collect around 200 kilos of garbage every month, the majority plastic waste.

It is estimated that every year up to 570,000 tons of plastic enter the Mediterranean, the equivalent of 33,800 bottles per minute. On a global scale, the proportion increases to eight million metric tons per year (some estimates already speak of 29 million tons in 2040). To follow this trend, mid-century there may be more plastic in our seas than fish.

And with the masks and gloves to face the pandemic of Covid-19, the situation has worsened. “Soon there may be more masks than jellyfish in the Mediterranean”, warned a few months ago Laurent Lombard, co-founder of Operation Clean Sea, from the town of Antibes, on the Côte d’Azur. Preventing that from happening is in our hands.

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