Yesterday, citizens of Iceland were encouraged to go out and pick up garbage in their neighbourhood as a part of the big “plogging” day.
The initiative, spearheaded by Einar Bárðason amongst others has quickly gained traction, with Iceland’s president Guðni Th. Jóhannesson and Minister for the Environment and Natural Resources, Guðmundur Ingi Guðbrandsson both taking part. “I think it’s safe to say that the initiative grew by thousands of percentages,” a pleased Einar told reporters at the end of the day.
“Plogging” is a relatively new term, that combines the verb “jogging” and “picking”. It has been used to describe the act of going out for a jog with a bag in hand, picking up garbage as it is discovered. In Icelandic the verb “plokka” has been used, which literally means “plucking”. It is unclear how much jogging was involved yesterday but according to Einar, the day was a smashing success, with around nine planned locations in and around Reykjavík attracting nature lovers of all ages.
The proceedings were kicked off early yesterday by Guðmundur Ingi and Atli Svavarsson, a young environmentalist, as they ceremoniously cut a plastic ribbon that had become entangled in a birch tree.
“I’ve been plogging for a while,” Guðmundur Ingi told reporters. “I worked as a park ranger for a while and that’s where I picked it up. If there’s garbage in front of you, you pick it up! It’s as simple as that.”
At the end of the day, Einar estimated that around one thousand garbage bags had been filled in the proceedings.