You’ve probably jogged before, but have you plogged? Plogging is a way to add bending and stretching to your exercise routine — and help improve water quality — by picking up litter while you go for a run. It’s a trend that started in Sweden in 2016 and is rapidly spreading to everywhere people want to improve their own health and the health of the environment. The name, plogging, is a combination of the Swedish plocka upp (picking up) and jogging.

On Saturday, August 24, 81 “ploggers” participated in Kansas City’s first Plog-a-thon event, picking up litter while they walked and ran through a three-mile course in midtown Kansas City, Missouri. Participants picked up 283 pounds of litter during the event, keeping them from entering the region’s streams and rivers.

Litter on streets and in parking lots washes into storm sewers that lead to rivers and streams. Litter generally takes years to breakdown and sometimes leeches toxic chemicals into the water supply. Picking up litter and disposing of it properly is a simple way you can help keep our water clean.


The event was sponsored by MARC’s Water Quality Public Education Committee with support from partners Run 816 and the Kansas City Marathon.