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World Plogging Championship

There aren't many things that sound sillier than the World Plogging Championship, which just took place in Genoa, Italy, but it's a serious competition for athletes that also benefits the environment.


Competitors in the World Plogging Championship
Credit: World Plogging Championship

Plogging is real, despite sounding like something Monty Python might have dreamt up. The contest - which involves picking up as much rubbish as you can while jogging up and down hills - attracted more than 100 elite competitors from around the globe.


The strange sounding name originates from the Swedish term plogga - which is a combination of jogga (Swedish for jog) and plocka up (meaning to pick up).


At competition level, the athletes are judged on the ground covered, the environmental cost of the waste they retrieve (a crisp packet would score low, a car battery would be the Holy Grail) and the altitude at which it is collected.


While it sounds mad, it is perhaps also a piece of total genius on the part of event organiser Roberto Cavallo. Because, as British competitor Luke Douglas-Home told the Daily Mail: 'If by doing something silly, it makes us think of the million tonnes of plastic that end up in our oceans each month, then how clever. Of all our environmental problems, plastic - particularly on beaches - is one we can all do something about.'


So, if you're looking to do your bit for the environment whilst also taking exercise, why not start doing some plogging in your neighbourhood?


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