Sweden: ‘Plogging’ goes global as fitness fanatics take out the trash

‘Plogging’ craze goes global as fitness fanatics take out the trash

STOCKHOLM (Reuters) – The Swedish phenomenon of “plogging”, where joggers combine their run with picking up the trash they find in nature, is going global as both environment and fitness fanatics benefit from the new trend. Started in 2016 by Swede Erik Ahlstrom in the town of Are, which hosted the recent Alpine skiing world championships, the craze is now spreading around the world.

Started in 2016 by Swede Erik Ahlstrom in the town of Are, which hosted the recent Alpine skiing world championships, the craze is now spreading around the world.

“The world record is actually in Mexico City, four thousand people have been plogging in one day, but I think it’s about 10 thousand people doing it regularly in India. In India, the biggest trend for running, it’s plogging right now,” Ahlstrom told Reuters at a recent plogging event in Stockholm.

“In Swedish ‘plocka’ is pick, and then jog of course. It’s a combination word, it’s two words put together – pick and jog,” Ahlstrom explained as he handed out trash bags to over two dozen trail runners who were joining him for the evening.

The Swedes are well-known for their love of nature and their environmental conscience, with teenage climate activist Greta Thunberg gaining world-wide fame after her school strike outside government buildings in Stockholm created a global movement.

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