How To: Plogging for the Planet

A World Worth Running For Michelob ULTRA Houston Plog

Plogging is the combination of picking up litter while jogging.

Litter impacts our quality of life, and often ends up as marine debris, polluting waterways and oceans harming wildlife and the environment. Through the plogging trend, individuals are empowered to help remove litter and debris from the environment, ultimately creating cleaner and greener communities. Combining jogging with intermittent squatting, plogging also offers individuals exercise benefits. In fact, one hour of plogging burns an average of 288 calories; that compares with an average of 235 calories for jogging, according to the fitness app Lifesum.

Originating from Sweden, the word plogging blends the Swedish phrase ‘plocka upp’ (meaning ‘pick up’) and ‘jogging’. Keep America Beautiful adopted this trend in 2018, and has since joined its affiliate network in leading plogs across the United States. Click here to find an affiliate near you or search for upcoming plogs in your area here.

Keep America Beautiful launched its TrashDash initiative, an annual plogging event and fun run, in 2019. At the inaugural event in Norwalk, Connecticut, more than 200 ploggers participated and picked up 740 pounds of litter along the route. Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2020 TrashDash engaged individuals virtually to pick a site in their community, plog, and share their experience on social media.

The plogging trend continues to pick up around the world, so now it a great time to get involved.

To plog, we recommend you have the following supplies:

  • Gloves or a litter grabber to pick up litter
  • Bag or bucket to collect litter along your route
  • Face covering (be sure to follow your state and local health guidelines)
  • Sturdy shoes
  • Reusable water bottle

Follow these easy steps to join the movement and get plogging:

  1. Pick a site in your community to plog – your neighborhood, local park, parking lot near your office building, nearby beach, etc.
  2. Gather all of your supplies (listed above).
  3. Get plogging! Plogging doesn’t have to just be jogging – you can walk, run, or stroll too! 
  4. Along the route, feel free to tell others what you’re doing and spread the word on how they can make a difference, too.
  5. When you’re finished, dispose of the collected litter properly. If using a trash bag to collect the litter, be sure to securely tie off the bag. Visit berecycled.org to learn how to properly dispose of your recyclables.
  6. Post a picture from your experience on social media with the hashtags #DoBeautifulThings and #TrashDash and tag @KeepAmericaBeautiful. Please include the number of bags you collected in your caption.
  7. That’s it! We thank each and every one of you for doing your part to take action in your community!

Safety Tips:

  • Wear gloves when picking up litter. Click here for tips on how to safely remove gloves.
  • Keep yourself safe – Wear a safety vest and make sure you pay attention to traffic and other conditions around you while collecting litter or trash.
  • Avoid personal injury – Only pick up litter or trash that you can individually manage. Don’t exceed your physical weight lifting limitations. Report finding any hazardous materials, weapons, or medical waste to local officials for their safe removal.
  • Stay hydrated and energized.
  • Minimize physical contact with litter – It is best to use some type of litter grabber and/or protective work gloves to protect yourself from cuts, scrapes, and any contaminant that may be on the collected litter or trash.
  • Keep your hands away from your face – During and after collecting litter, do not touch your face with gloved hands or hands that have not been washed and sanitized.
  • Wash and sanitize your hands.

Dart Container Corporation is the Title Sponsor of the Keep America Beautiful TrashDash.