Getting fitter with litter
April 1, 2019
A Petone woman has made cleaning up the environment part of her daily fitness routine.
Michelle Stronach-Marsh said she was getting “really frustrated” with the state of Petone Beach and the Esplanade walkway.
She started the Facebook page “Plogging in Petone” to highlight the problem and encourage people to help clean up the environment while getting fit at the same time.
The term “plogging” comes from the Plogga movement started by Swedish founder Erik Ahlström.
“It’s an infectious form of fitness—you’re doing your body and the environment a favour.”
Stronach-Marsh is a Girl Guides leader and recently recruited her group to clean up Jackson St and Petone Beach.
She said a few people usually joined her when she was out plogging on the weekend but wished more people would get involved.
Stronach-Marsh said the amount of rubbish she picks up was “unbelievable” despite the $100 fine for dropping rubbish in the Lower Hutt area.
“Rubbish comes in on the tide, but it’s also blown around from businesses with poorly designed or overflowing bins.”
Stronach-Marsh said she wanted to get bigger businesses such as fast-food chains to support the venture, since most of the litter came from them.
“Every day I’m picking up at least 10 plastic straws from McDonald’s iced drinks.”
Local Hutt City councillors Simon Edwards and Michael Lulich also got involved and “really got an insight” into the problem, said Stronach-Marsh.
Edwards said the state of Petone beach was “sobering”.