Unger Professional Cleaning Blog
litter picking tools plogging

Grab Your Litter Picking Tools – It’s Time to Get Plogging

Heading into Earth Day 2021, organizations and individuals alike are planning how they can actively contribute to helping restore our planet.  And for many, the notion of taking part in an environmentally friendly running trend, called “plogging” gives them a way to do something positive for both the earth and their bodies.

With its roots in Sweden, plogging is a combination of jogging with picking up litter (merging the Swedish verbs plocka upp (pick up) and jogga (jog).)  Starting back in 2016 out of the growing concern around litter pollution, an estimated 20,000 people now plog daily in 100 countries and some plogging events have attracted over 3,000,000 participants. As a physical activity, plogging  provides the opportunity to bend, squat and stretch when combined with running or walking, making it a win-win endeavor for your health and your environmental clean up initiatives.

Just How Much Litter is There?

In Keep America Beautiful’s National Visible Litter Survey, the research showed that:

  • There are over 51 billion pieces of litter on our nation’s roadways, 4.6 billion of which are larger than four inches in size.
  • Litter costs U.S governments, businesses, educational institutions, and volunteer organizations almost $11.5 billion annually.
  • Tobacco products continue to be the most prevalent aggregate litter item, comprising roughly 38% of all litter. Followed by other common lister items made of paper, metal and glass.

And all this liter is expensive to clean up, making volunteers essential to cleaning it up!

Making a Positive Impact by Plogging

Wondering how you can contribute to cleaning up this very large litter problem? You can start plogging today! You can start by simply walking around your neighborhood and picking up trash instead of walking past it and assuming someone else will pick it up. And when you’re ready to take the next step, you can find a local plogging event or participate in a larger group effort, such as:

  • Earth Day: April 22, 2021
    Participate in a group or individual cleanup. Check out the local cleanup events near you map.
  • TRASHDASH™: September 17 -19, 2021
    The Keep America Beautiful® TrashDash initiative, created to bring plogging to neighborhoods across the country, works similarly to a run, with the primary difference being the picking up of litter throughout the route.
  • National Cleanup Day: September 18, 2021
    National Cleanup Day advocates plogging as a way to clean up and keep the outdoors clean. On this day, it’s all about solutions to litter, trash and what they refer to as free range plastic.

How to Start Plogging & the Litter Picking Tools You’ll Need

One of the best things about plogging is that it is easy to get started and can be integrated into your everyday lives. To begin:

#1 Determine Your Plogging Route: Choose a route that is safe but is in need of cleanup.

#2 Source Your Materials: Be prepared and equipped with the appropriate litter picking tools, such as:

  • Purpose-built grabbers and picker pins that allow you to collect refuse without physical strain;
  • Neoprene gloves with textured palms to ensure a non-slip grip, and
  • A bagger with drainage holes that allows easy rinsing post-collection.

While you can get started using materials you have available at home, for larger, organized events and group plogging, these high-quality litter removal tools will help keep your efforts productive and safe.

#3 Ensure Your Safety:  Stay away from picking up sharp or harmful objects. Wear face masks and gloves.

#4 Practice Proper Disposal: When your plog is finished, properly dispose of products in the correct recycling or trash bins.

#5 Promote Your Good Work and Encourage Others: Show off the hard work you have done and socialize it! Use the #TrashDash and #DoBeautifulThings hashtags to connect with the plogging community.

Join Unger as We Get Plogging

Many of us are already running in the community, so why not make it more impactful by making a difference and picking up litter? We encourage you to connect with what’s around you and doing something about it because, unfortunately, there’s enough litter around for everyone to plog!

And if we can help you source the litter picking tools to help support your efforts, please contact us.


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