Ploggers Have an Eye for Trash – The Movement That Combines Jogging and Picking up Litter Arrives in Finland

Picture: Tony Öhberg for Finland Today

What’s healthier than blogging and does a favor to the environment? It’s plogging.

Plogging has arrived in Finland from Sweden, and it combines jogging with picking up litter. The word is a marriage of Swedish and English. “Plocka upp” is Swedish for picking up.

On May 6, the Finnish organization Yhteismaa ry, who’s behind the Cleaning Day, where anyone can put up a flea market in the park, organized the first plogging event and, according to the organizers, it was a success.

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At least five more plogging events were arranged across the country. “We didn’t collect any official information because the event is based on voluntarism. It may very well be that there were groups of friends who joined the movement so that we don’t know about it,” said Johanna Kohvakka from Yhteismaa organization.

According to Erik Ahlström, the father of the movement, “85 percent of litter on the ground ends up in the water.” After living in the Swedish foothills of Åre for 20 years, a year ago Ahlström moved back to Stockholm and was horrified by the amount of trash. Everywhere.

“Litter was laying around for weeks, nobody cared,” Ahlström said, “that’s why I decided to establish jogging groups and take control of the littering at the same time.

Ahlström and his friends quickly developed “an eye for trash” and got even a better training with more bending of the knees.

In 2018, the movement has spread to more than 25 countries. “Many people can think why would I care about a trash thrown on the ground by someone else. It’s great that we are getting rid of this kind of thinking and on the contrary, one gets a good feeling when doing the good deed of the day, and the planet is again a little cleaner,” said Johanna Kohvakka.

Plogging events are going to be arranged during summer 2018 on every first Sunday of the month until September (weather permitting).

The organizers arrange official runs starting from the old Lapinlahti hospital in Helsinki and the beach of Espoo Haukilahti.




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