Let’s go for a run and save the Earth!


Minjun Son

Image Source: iStock Photo

People run with trash bags in disposable gloved hands. When you find trash, stop running and bend over. The heavier the garbage bag, the more difficult it is to breathe. When you get to your destination and look back, you can see the clean streets. Take a ‘certification shot'(인증샷) of the garbage you have collected and post it on social networking services (SNS).

Along with walking or running, the activity of picking up trash, ‘plogging’, is gaining popularity. Generation MZ (born in the 1980s and early 2000s), who is sensitive to environmental issues and health issues, is at the center. It looks like they are trying to catch two rabbits at the same time, ‘exercise’ and ‘environmental protection’ through plogging.

Posts confirming ‘plogging’ activity are lined up on social media. It is interpreted as a desire to exert a ‘good influence’ by encouraging the voluntary participation of those around them.

‘Plogging’ is a compound word of the Swedish ‘plocka upp’ (picking up ears) and the English ‘jogging’. It is an environmental movement that first started in Sweden in 2016.

The preparation is simple. Wear comfortable running clothes and bring a trash bag and disposable gloves. Long tongs help pick up out-of-reach trash. Smartphones are not to be missed. To measure the distance run and to take a picture of the clean distance.

This kind of plogging is more like a spontaneous play culture. This is because it is a combination of a hobby activity called running and an environmental protection movement. Numerous photos uploaded on social media induce participation in play like a ‘relay’.

Meanwhile, the preparation of measures to reduce the amount of garbage thrown on the street is considered as a task to be solved while proceeding with plogging. Also, some public skepticism is an obstacle to the challenge of blogging. Experts advised that in order to spread plogging, a plan that can preserve the essence of play culture is necessary.

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