Friday, 23 April 2021

Pair keep fit and clean up neighbourhood by ‘plogging’

Pair keep fit and clean up neighbourhood by ‘plogging’

AN environmental campaigner from Charvil is urging people to take up “plogging”.

This is a trend that involves picking up litter while going for a jog.

Sam Akthar would normally hold monthly litter-picks through his community group Charvil Matters but these have not been held regularly over the past year due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Mr Akthar and his partner Tasmin Morgan, who live in Pound Lane, Charvil, tried plogging for the first time last month.

They spent half an hour collecting rubbish, starting at their home and tackling the A4 and Milestone Avenue as these are the worst affected areas.

They filled two bin bags with plastic bottles, food wrappers, face masks and gloves. Mr Akthar said: “I absolutely loved it. You get the benefits of doing a bit of exercise and cleaning up the local area at the same time.

“Because you are starting and stopping and bending down to pick up litter, it becomes a bit like interval training, with lots of squats.

“This is a great way of showing people that you can get fit and do something fun with your kids and something positive for the environment.

“There does seem to have been an increase in littering during the lockdown and we’ve noticed a lot more PPE lately. I think locals are quite good now but because it is the A4 you get a lot of people passing through and things get thrown out of cars.”

Plogging started as an organised activity in Sweden five years ago and came from an increased concern about levels of plastic pollution.

Mr Akthar, who works in corporate finance, is hoping the easing of lockdown will allow for small organised litter-picks to be held soon.

In the meantime, he has a collection of litter-pickers and is happy to loan these to residents.

He said: “We’ve had people messaging us saying they want to take their kids out litter-picking, so we will leave it outside their house and we pick it up again. It is a free service and ultimately it is all for the same cause.”

Miss Morgan added: “I find litter- picking quite satisfying anyway. It is a great way of keeping fit and I love seeing the area looking clean and tidy.”

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