There’s no better time to start ‘plogging’

By Ashlea Witoslawski

Laces were tied tight, sunscreen was lathered and litter pickers were at the ready for the third annual ‘‘plogging’’ event on Saturday.

A keen group of trash-tackling people took to Stuart Reserve in Shepparton, picking up various pieces of plastic, glass and other miscellaneous items left behind by others.

Part of the Activities in the Park program, plogging is a morning session combining exercise and cleaning the environment.

The phrase comes from the Swedish words ‘‘plocka upp’’ — a combination of ‘‘to jog’’ and ‘‘to pick up’’.

Participants chose to walk along the paths, along the river banks and through the bushland filling large bags as they went.

RiverConnect education officer Allison Trethowan said the event was a great opportunity to help the environment and protect local flora and fauna.

‘‘It’s about keeping the area beautiful and safety for the animals,’’ Ms Trethowan said.

‘‘We hear a lot about ocean animals, but we need to remember it comes from here and affects all the critters down the stream.

‘‘We have a responsibility now more than ever to take home and take out our rubbish.’’

Stuart Reserve is a hotspot for dumping, with a television spotted by one of the participants on the day sitting among some shrubs.

Ms Trethowan thanked those who took the time to pick up rubbish as they saw it in the reserve and encouraged everyone to take home any items they may see as they walk, jog or cycle through the area.