PLOGGING is Sweden’s fitness craze that has started making its way to different corners of the globe. Combining jogging and picking up trash, we want to experience it in Bandung, Indonesia, with a major plastic pollution on its hand. And the outcome of this experiment is mind-blowing!
Indonesians seem to have this practice of throwing trash on the street without being bothered to find a garbage can. This harmful habit, unfortunately, has been passed on to the next generation for decades; desensitizing the majority to pollution. Plogging for our first two hundred meters, we had already been able to fully fill our trash bag.
They are off course dominated by plastic cups, food packaging, cigarette packs and butts.
This is hardly surprising since you can easily find street vendors selling foods every dozen meter in Bandung, as befits a city famous for its diverse culinary tourism. Cigarette trash also makes its way to the most-commonly found garbage. As a country with a major cigarette addiction problem, one-third of males between the age of 13 and 15 in Indonesia duly consume tobacco (based on The World Health Organization’s 2015 data).
It was frustrating trying to empty our bag, proving that Bandung doesn’t have a sufficient amount of trash cans on its roads. The government’s attempts to provide them are also to no avail as they always ended up being vandalized.
Bandung even once released adorable trash cans to encourage their use but the poor and uneducated would tear them apart and steal the scrap metal to make money.
Apart from all the stressful stuffs, plogging is extremely rewarding. It does not only provide an amazing exercise but also a sense of satisfaction from contributing to the society. There were many times where we had to squat to pick up trash, run to catch up with others, and work on many different muscles at the same time. It can also be a good way to educate people instead of holding seminars or talks on littering. Our community, especially future generations, will have an example on how an individual should care to make a difference and will hopefully inspire few other people to do the same.
There is a vast amount of frustration just from wanting to walk and live in a clean environment without having to see trash abandoned everywhere. Yet, we somehow forget that we don’t have to just walk away from it.
PICK THE TRASH AND SOLVE THE PROBLEMS OURSELVES.
If you ever think of trying plogging, here are few useful tips to consider:
- Bring a reusable bag and gloves. Don’t add to the problems by using single-use plastic bags and gloves.
- Always carry some soap to wash your hands. As it can get very tiring, you might want to make a few stops, and it’s always nice to be able to clean yourself first before enjoying some refreshments.
Plogging offers a minimalist way to stay healthy without having to spend so much money for a gym membership. Start now and discover the joy of jogging in the fresh air!