Collected on May 16th, metres from home.

The above picture was taken on the morning of my 39th birthday. That collection of litter was picked up in less than five minutes, over a distance of less than 500 metres. Minutes earlier it was all located on the side of a road that I walk on a daily basis. Where did it come from? Who was the last person to touch it? That is something I will never know.

Two news stories published on Tuesday September 3rd, 2019, reveal the extent to which New Zealanders are living with litter and litterers located within their local community. It does not make for pleasant reading.

NZ Herald “150 swimming pools of nappies: Why NZ’s not so clean and green” http://nzh.tw/12264344

Stuff NZ “Littered takeout containers enough to fill 25 rugby fields, study finds” http://www.stuff.co.nz/environment/115468928/littered-takeout-containers-enough-to-fill-25-rugby-fields-study-finds?cid=app-iPhone

My pathway to plogging started on the first of January 2019, when i decided to start the new year with a run around the street’s of Auckland’s Te Atatu Peninsula. Although i didn’t pick up a single bit of litter on that day, I was saddened by how much I had seen. From that day on I promised to pick up at least one small bag of rubbish on every run. I salso found myself Googling a term that I had heard someone use the previous year. That terms was “plogging”.

Personally, I wait until I have finished my morning run before I engage in a little bit of plogging. I do it as I am walking, stretching, warming down and wondering what the day ahead has in store. Why do I do it? Why doesn’t everyone do it? More importantly, will there ever be a day when I don’t need to do it? Is there a way that I can stop people from littering in my local community?

The below links reveal what i found when I googled ‘Plogging’. If you want to know more then i would recommend that you open them and have a read. May they inspire you, as they have inspired me.

In the UK – https://www.runnersworld.com/uk/training/motivation/a776063/plogging-the-new-running-craze-that-is-saving-the-planet/

In Australia – https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/shortcuts/2018/feb/19/a-rubbish-way-to-get-fit-why-i-loved-going-plogging

In New Zealand – https://www.stuff.co.nz/environment/103907299/plogging-the-craze-thats-cleaning-up-kiwi-communities and https://www.stuff.co.nz/life-style/well-good/inspire-me/105686132/why-we-all-win-when-someone-goes-plogging