A student who began a global ‘plogging’ movement in India is bringing his litter picking scheme to Britain.
26-year-old Vivek Gurav first began plogging in Pune, India. The activity sees people go for a run while collecting rubbish along the way.
It aims to curb the climate crisis ‘one bit of plastic at a time.’
The movement now has more than 10,000 volunteers around the world and Vivek is hopeful that the UK will be its newest hub.
Plogging was first started in Sweden but ‘Pune Ploggers’, founded by Vivek in India, is the largest community of ploggers in a single city.
Since starting, it has collected more than 40,000 kilograms of plastic.
Vivek came to Bristol last September to study for a masters degree in Environmental Policy and Management and hopes to launch a group here too.
‘Bristol Ploggers will be an important step towards helping citizens act locally for a global impact,’ he says.
‘Climate crisis has already hit us. It’s time to start acting now. Let’s join communities acting to fight climate change and make conscious choices.
‘Communities can bring a change in mindset, and this is crucial for a mass awakening towards climate change and to make governments worldwide act now.’
In February of this year, Vivek took part in a 30-day plogging challenge to collect 4kg (9lbs) of litter daily, while running a minimum distance of 4km (2.4miles).
Already Vivek has been joined by 12 other volunteers for the Bristol Ploggers team and has received interest from nearly 40 others.
Vivek hopes the project will also have a ‘positive effect’ on mental health.
‘I want to provide a safe space where people can talk about their troubles in life, a place where people can share their anxieties and fears,’ he explains.
‘Making it a game means that people better enjoy litter-picking. It increases motivation and people keep coming back for more sessions.’
The University of Bristol is also getting involved by providing litter picking equipment to Vivek and the group.
Professor Sarah Purdy, the university’s pro-vice-chancellor for student experience, says: ‘Vivek’s passion for the environment is inspirational.
‘It’s fantastic to see someone use their skills and strive to make a difference, both here and in India.’
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