Discover plogging, running against rubbish!

Want to take care of your health while also taking care of the planet? It's possible! Discover plogging, a new type of sports with an ecological outlook!

plogging picking up rubbish

What do you do when you want to look after not only your own health but also the health of our environment? Take up this new, innovative and eco-friendly sport! Want to find out more? Follow us!

plogging running picking up rubbish


“A healthy mind in a healthy... environment.” That's the ploggers' motto.

The who? The ploggers, the people who are into plogging! What? You haven't heard about it yet? Well, don't worry, that's quite normal since it's a very recent phenomenon. Plogging actually started in 2016 but the Instagram Plogging France page wasn't launched until early 2018.

Plogging is a sport that's come to us straight from our Nordic friends, the Swedish.

Here's a bit of semantics… "Plogging" is a clever combination of the word "jogging" that you know well and the Swedish verb "plocka upp" (to pick up). Basically, it's something you could just as well call "eco run." I reckon you're beginning to see more or less where all this is going!

So, it's a sports activity that consists in taking a bag (rucksack or bin bag) and going out to "pick up" rubbish as you jog along just as though you were out simply jogging. You'll see a whole lot of people doing this in Stockholm. These ploggers have found a way to take care their body by exercising, while at the same time taking care their urban environment. Pretty good, don't you think?! The Swedish are rather clever, really, aren't they?


How do I start? 

Probably the hardest part is to accept people might look at you. It can be difficult to confront the curious looks you get when you start picking up rubbish in the street. But it's quite normal for people to look, any time somebody does something new! At first, you might feel a little embarrassed, but be brave and remember what's motivating you! 

What gear do I need?

Nothing could be easier! Got some sports clothes, a bag and a pair of trainers? Well, then, you're good and ready to go plogging! Oh yes, and don't forget to put on a pair of gloves. You never know what you might find...

Who can do it and where?

I'd like to answer “everyone who is able to move and act to protect the environment”. You can tailor the intensity and frequency of your plogging training to your physical capacities. So don't panic! Whether you're in the city or at the countryside, I'm confident you'll have no problem going out plogging. A city park, a seaside boulevard, a mountain path, the streets around your neighbourhood etc. Basically, you can go anywhere where it's safe to run and there's rubbish to pick up.

plogging running picking up rubbish


It may be a good idea to start out in small groups. It's always easier and more fun to do this with friends

And believe me, you'll soon get a taste for it. Because some of the people who see you are going to be inspired, of course; you might well awaken their conscience. And then they'll follow your lead! That's how change happens!


It's good for the environment

Like all new trends, plogging attracts attention, and more and more people start becoming aware of the rubbish that's invading our streets. These people will therefore be less likely to throw their rubbish, and some of them will go a step further and also take up plogging. A virtuous circle is about to get rolling! You'll find more and more ploggers now sharing their experiences on social media. New challenges are continuously being set and met!

It's good for your health

Oh yes indeed! Plogging is, above all, a sport! You run or walk, you do squats to pick up rubbish (while protecting your back!), you're constantly varying your pace, stopping and starting each time you pick up that bit of paper just lying around… Basically, you've got it, plogging is a sports activity that gives you both cardiovascular exercise and muscle strengthening. All this while doing interval training. 

You have to accomplish precise movements, in order to protect your back. In Sweden, there's even a plogging professor who trains sportspeople and helps them to get their picking-up-rubbish movements just right. So, have I convinced you yet?



Running's not my thing… So, what to do if you don't like running or if mobility troubles prevent you from doing it? If you've set your mind on joining in with this initiative, don't worry, we'll help you find just the right sport! Here are a few examples that may suit you better than plogging...

Feel like discovering beautiful scenery, getting some fresh air and helping the planet all at the same time? Go hiking in the small hills or high mountains with your gear and a bin bag to pick up the rubbish you come across as you go striding along.

plogging picking up rubbish


You'd rather be in the water than on land. No problem! That's just how Manu Laurin felt too; this eco-minded citizen swam from Marseille to Toulon, picking up the rubbish he found along the coast. A splendid example, as you'll see if you watch the documentary “Le Grand Saphyr.”

In short, never mind the terminology, all you have to do is move your body while picking up whatever rubbish you find along the way to help make the world a cleaner place.

Going by bike or opting to walk rather than drive to go from A to B is also a great way of moving your body while reducing your environmental impact.

Have you decided to take up plogging and reduce your ecological footprint? Consider doing it as a family activity or with friends, and making it into a game. Let's see who can pick up the most rubbish in 20 mins... Ready, steady, go!

Alexandra Portail Signature


Naturopath - Advice in Food and Sports Health

Naturopath, yoga enthusiast and pole dancer, but also and above all, someone in search of well-being. I write about health and offer my personalised services because I want to make people's lives more healthy. My motto: "A healthy mind in a healthy body!"