KOCHI: The India Plog Run 2019 aims to combat the increasing threat from plastic pollution by bringing together the most powerful stakeholders in environmental conservation: citizens themselves. Organized by United Way India in collaboration with Go Native, the Plog Run will involve picking up plastic waste while jogging or walking through an established route in the locality of your choice. India Plog Run will be held in 50 cities across the country, including Kochi, on October 2, in honour of Gandhi Jayanti and to commemorate five years of the Swacch Bharat Abhiyaan.
In 2018, The Bengaluru Plog Run led to the collection of 33.4 tons of plastic waste by more than 7000 participants in under 12 hours. This subsequently led to the entry of the Bengaluru Plog Run into the Guinness Book of World Records.
Manish Michael, Chief Executive Officer, United Way India, says, “India produces 25,940 tons of plastic waste daily, out of which 10,000 tons remain uncollected as stated by the Central Pollution Control Board. Waste such as this accumulates in public spaces and eventually enters water bodies thereby causing irreparable damage to the environment and marine life. The Prime Minister has strongly urged citizens to join the crusade against single-use plastic on October 2.”
The India Plog Run aims to foster a circular economy: one that prevents the accumulation of waste material in landfills and focuses on recycling instead. The long-term vision of the Run would be to engage extensively with youth in building a stronger community that will take conservation initiatives and help preserve cleanliness at several locations. This will increase awareness among individuals and help increase the scope of environmental conservation, says Shailesh Haribhakti, Chairman, United Way India.
The Plog Run looks to mobilise citizens across 500 different locations to detox their surroundings. It is also a promising avenue for corporate stakeholders providing them with an opportunity to fulfill their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) mandate by actively participating in the initiative. “We are looking forward to partner with NGOs, businesses and associations and various communities to make the Plog Run a success,” says Ramakrishna Ganesh, Convener of the India Plog Run. Each participant will be equipped with a kit comprising of safety gloves, aprons and garbage bags.