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Posted On: 3 November 2020 04:00 pm
Updated On: 12 November 2020 02:08 pm

Qommunity Voices: Stay fit and help keep the environment clean with The Qatar Ploggers

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Plogging may sound like blogging/vlogging but in no way are they related. So, what's plogging? While the concept of it is nothing new, the term was coined by Swedish Erik Ahlstrom in 2016. It's basically picking up trash while jogging hence the term is the combination of those words. Plogging = pick up ("plocka upp") + jogging!

With this activity, you hit two birds with one stone. Taking care of your fitness and taking care of Mother Earth. This rewarding activity has since then spread to different countries. In Qatar, the new group called The Qatar Ploggers, is looking to make a difference through their plogging events.

So we reached out to the founder of The Qatar Ploggers, Jules Bevin, to find out the story behind the group! Read our short interview with him below.

ILQ: Please tell us about The Qatar Ploggers and how the group came about.

QP: Having spent the last 4 years in Qatar and running 4 times a week along the Corniche I noticed the accumulation of plastics and other trash that people carelessly had left behind, despite a large number of trash cans along the corniche.

Fed up with this and being unable to socialize as a result of Covid I strengthened my resolve to do something about it and one Saturday morning I took a trash bag, gloves, and a mask and picked up about 7 kg of trash in 2 hours.

The following week I invited friends and colleagues and now the group has taken off but thankfully we never have more than 10 people at any one time so we can observe social distancing.

Image credit: The Qatar Ploggers

ILQ: Can you tell us about the group's activities? Where do you usually go plogging and what time?

QP: We meet at the front of MIA park gates at 6 am Saturday morning and we have 3 rules. You must run, (a little or a lot/fast or slow) you need to bring a mask and gloves and most importantly, you have to laugh and joke with your fellow ploggers!

ILQ: How many members do you have now?

QP: On the group, we have at least 40 members but we have never had more than 10 at one time.

ILQ: Who should join The Qatar Ploggers? How can they join?

QP: Find us at Instagram @theqatarploggers send a message and after we have spoken and know a bit about you then you are free to join us!

Image credit: The Qatar Ploggers

ILQ: What do you want to achieve with plogging?

QP: Our goal is three-fold; firstly, to clean up some of the trash that people through along the Corniche and this help the environment get cleaner in the run-up to the World Cup, secondly, to get fit physically and mentally through cardiovascular activity, Finally to meet new people, have a laugh and inspire similar groups online

ILQ: Are there any challenges plogging in Qatar?

QP: The heat. We have to meet early 6 am -7.30 am to avoid the rising of the Middle Eastern sun. Also, we have to ensure we are protected with masks and gloves and not break social distancing rules. There is also the risk of cutting yourself on bits of glass if you find any while plogging.

ILQ: What are the things that one needs to go plogging?

QP: Running gear, mask, trash bag, gloves, and most importantly a smile!

ILQ: Do you have any message for the people of Qatar?

QP: We should reduce the amount of waste thrown on the ground and in the ocean and keep this wonderful country clean while getting fit and meeting new people at the same time.

Follow and join The Qatar Ploggers:

Instagram: @theqatarploggers

Facebook group: The Qatar Ploggers

Cover image credit: The Qatar Ploggers

Do you know of someone who’s got an exceptional talent or is making a difference in our Qatar community? Drop us a line in the comments below and you could see them highlighted in Qommunity Voices!