Ahead of Swachh Bharat Diwas, The Social Lab (TSL) organized a Plog Run in New Delhi, supported by renowned brands like PepsiCo India, Varun Beverages Limited, Zomato, Star Factory, and Chaayos. Aligned with the Government of India’s Swachh Bharat Mission initiative, Plog Run 2023 was inaugurated at Jawahar Lal Nehru Stadium by Shri Meenakhi Lekhi, Honourable Minister of State for External Affairs and Culture, and Shri Ashwini Kumar Choubey, Honourable Minister of State for Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution, and Environment, Forest and Climate, Government of India.
At the core of the Fit India Movement, this purposeful run aims to educate the public about plastic circularity and drive behavioral change. Plog Run 2023 saw enthusiastic participation from over 500 volunteers, including employees, as they jogged and simultaneously picked up plastic waste. The Plog Run allows participants to witness the consequences of littering and become passionate advocates for change towards a cleaner and healthier India. Plastic waste collected during the Plog Run will undergo segregation and recycling processes to create useful items from the waste, ensuring it doesn’t end up in landfills.
Inaugurating the All India Plog Run, Smt. Meenakshi Lekhi, Hon’ble Minister of State for External Affairs and Culture, said, “India is leading towards a new development story, but it would be incomplete if we are unable to focus on cleanliness and keep our surroundings clean. Today we are inaugurating Plog Run 2023 across India. I urge everyone to be a part of this initiative and help keep the nation clean. I would like to thank The Social Lab and its partners for not only spreading awareness on the topic but also involving our people. Plog Run is the best way to keep yourself fit and support the nation with your efforts towards cleanliness.”
Addressing the gathering, Shri Ashwini Kumar Choubey, Honorable Minister of State for Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution, and Environment, Forest and Climate, Government of India, said, “I am delighted to be a part of the Plog Run event, which stands as a shining example of the convergence of fitness and environmental consciousness. This initiative resonates deeply with our government’s commitment to promoting a cleaner India through the Swachh Bharat Mission, empowering citizens to take ownership of their surroundings. I would like to congratulate The Social Lab (TSL) for organizing such an event and promoting the agenda of cleanliness.”
Commenting on the partnership, Sahil Arora, CEO of The Social Lab (TSL), said, “Plog Run is a wonderful fusion of fitness and environmental responsibility, gaining popularity as a fun and impactful way to contribute to a cleaner planet. We are honored to receive support from MOEF&CC, Swachh Bharat Mission, PepsiCo India, Varun Beverages, Zomato, Chaayos, and other partners who have come forward to support this cause and take a step towards being Climate positive.”
Speaking on the occasion, Anjalli Ravi Kumar, Chief Sustainability Officer, Zomato said, “Sustainability is at the core of Zomato’s business strategy and is a key guiding principle for all initiatives we undertake. Our efforts in this direction are focused on addressing plastic pollution, including ‘no cutlery required’ as a default option on the Zomato application and providing plastic-neutral deliveries through voluntary recycling. We are thrilled to support this plog run. This is also an endeavor on our part to complement the Government of India’s ‘Swachh Bharat Mission’ initiative.”
Commenting on the Initiative, Adesh Gupta, Director-Advisory Board, TSL, said, “Plogging is a fitness craze that first began in Sweden and is gaining popularity in India. The word plogging comes from jogging and “plocka upp,” the Swedish word for ‘pick-up’. We are proud to be the hosts for the event and wish to have further collaborations from the private sector for this noble cause.”
Besides Delhi, TSL will be organizing Plog runs in several states across India, including Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, West Bengal, Karnataka, and Telangana, witnessing participation from over 5000 volunteers to collect plastic waste across public areas. As part of this initiative, The Social Lab (TSL), along with its partners PepsiCo India, Varun Beverages, Zomato, Chaayos, aims to collect, segregate, and recycle post-consumer plastic waste, ensuring zero percent plastic waste ends up in landfills.