The Scandinavians have introduced new trends to the jogging world. This year’s 2018 hot trend, ‘plogging’, comes from a Swedish word mix, jogging – running and plocka upp, which means ‘picking up or collecting’; collecting garbage that is.
When Erik Ahlström moved from Åre, a ski resort town in central Sweden to Stockholm, he had a strong first impression of the capital: “det ser ju ut som en soptipp,” which translates as “It looks like a dump.” Ahlström, an environmentalist, was put off by the amount of litter on the streets and in the parks, and resolved to do something about it. He somehow managed to organise groups of joggers, armed with garbage bags and gloves, to lope through Stockholm with him, picking up litter as they went.
The trend of plogging exploded worldwide from that point. Running is good for your health and picking up litter is good for the planet’s health, so why not combine the two? ‘Plogging on the Beach’ came to Cha-Am last month when hundreds of ploggers took to the sands last month on a ‘plogg’ which probably rendered a 2 kilometre section of the main Cha-Am beach the cleanest in Thailand! Cha-Am mayor Mr Nopporn Vuttikul welcomed as young crowd and family groups armed with bags to collect any refuse that could be found as they set off from the beach alongside the Long Beach Hotel to the finish line at the beach view point. It’s probably fair to say that the exercise component took second place to the more social aspects of the occasion, including celebrations into the evening around the finish line. However as an alert to the need to take better care of the environment for both participants and those just relaxing on the beach, the weight of numbers and the enthusiasm of the ‘ploggers’ made the event a great success. Next time you are considering some exercise with a jog along the beach or road, either alone or with a group, take a bag with you and join the ‘plogging’ revolution!