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How many times have you happened to walk or run and notice an abandoned and trampled cigarette butt among the pebbles.

How many times, on a mountain path, has a piece of paper or a handkerchief caught your attention and ruined the harmony for a moment.

Unfortunately, reality leaves no room for interpretation: littering kills our environment and our seas and must be fought. Two simple gestures are enough to combat it: avoid leaving waste on the ground and bend down to collect what is already polluting the environment.

Thus, in various parts of the world, a new sporting practice was born at the same time. Initially, running to pick up rubbish didn't have a name, but it was already practiced by many sports and nature enthusiasts.

Then, thanks to the Swedish runner Erik Ahlstrom the term “plogging” was born, a union between “plocka upp”, which in Swedish means to collect, and “jogging”. Thus all the different spontaneous movements born in the world have found their own common definition, which would contain them all and give them an identity, a mission.

Experiences of this kind were also born in Italy, first of all il Keep Clean and Run by Roberto Cavallo, who has been crossing our country for years and not only to bring a message of sustainability and attention to the environment.

Plogging therefore quickly experienced an escalation of interest and attention which led in 2021 to the organization of the first edition of a World Championship, which made Val Pellice, in Piedmont, the absolute protagonist of this sport on a global level. Three days of events, between 1 and 3 October, organized by AICA – International Association for Environmental Communication e da ERICA soc. coop., which celebrated ploggers and their concern for the environment.

For the first time, all participants in a global competition crossed the finish line together, cheered by the public. Because deep down, when we join forces for a common cause, we are all winners.

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