By Mudassir Raja
Human beings are fast becoming conscious of environmental issues and how human interference has been damaging nature’s balance. The worry for future generation asks for immediate action.
The awareness and concern about pollution and its worst impact on nature has led to rise in volunteerism in Qatar. Over the years, more and more citizens and residents have started volunteering for beach clean-ups and collection of plastic waste from public spots helping the already active municipality machinery in Qatar.
Global Shapers Doha Hub has started volunteer campaign plogging to fight plastic pollution. The Global Shapers community is an international network of young people driving dialogue, action and change. Recently, the Hub partnered with the Embassy of Argentina in Qatar for plogging as a part of Qatar Sustainability Week 2019.
‘Plogging’ is the Swedish fitness craze for people who want to save the planet. The term is a mash-up of jogging and the Swedish “plocka upp,” meaning pick up. In this case, litter. It started as an organised activity in Sweden around 2016 and spread to other countries in 2018, following increased concern about plastic pollution. As a workout, it provides variation in body movements by adding bending, squatting and stretching to the main action of running, hiking, or walking.
The recent activity by Global Shapers – that was also attended by Carlos Hernandez, Ambassador of Argentina to Qatar – was carried out at Corniche and collected plastic trash and other rubbish.
Talking to Community, Neeshad Shafi, Curator of Global Shapers Doha Hub, said that Doha residents and citizens had found a new way to combine exercise with cleaning up the streets from plastic litters. “We all know that running is a healthy pursuit. It’s something we proudly shout about whenever we can. Yet not only is it good for our health, plogging is an eco-friendly running trend fresh out of Scandinavia, it’s proving to be good for the planet too.”
Neeshad further said: “Our vision is all about tackling plastic pollution, which is now at crisis point, with 8million tonnes of it hitting our oceans annually. The most common items that ploggers collect are cans and plastic bottles, bottle caps, snack and candy wrappers, fast food containers, cups, lids, straws, and disposable cutlery.
“The objective of the Qatar Sustainability Week is to raise awareness among the community on the numerous aspects of sustainability and sustainable lifestyle and to showcase the efforts of Qatar’s public and private sectors in leading the sustainability movement in Qatar,” the volunteer said.
He added: “We want to create a planet where more plogging or hundreds of beach cleanups are no longer needed and our streets, parks and beaches are plastic free. Clearly we are a long way from achieving the dream, but with events like this we can get one step closer.
“Further, We at Global Shapers believe in a world where young people are central to solution building, policy-making and lasting change. For sure, the involvement of younger people is necessary to take on the menace of plastic pollution and they are people, if remained unmoved, going to face the worst impacts of the environmental hazards.”
Carlos Hernandez, Ambassador of Argentina said he was really pleased that the local youth was on board for keeping out the city clean and take action against plastic pollution. “I was pleased to support and attend the event and I promise that we will also support further such events initiated by the young people in Qatar for a sustainable further. The ambassador was also joined by his wife Noelia Romero.
The ambassador further said: “Plogging is just one way through which we can bring the community together and we can send a clear message for plastic free Qatar as well.”
The Global Shapers community is an initiative of the World Economic Forum. It is a platform that is utilised by young people to drive dialogue, action and change to make life sustainable on planet Earth.
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