The Social Lab (TSL) Organises Plog Runs Across India to Celebrate Swachh Bharat Diwas  

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New Delhi: Ahead of the Swachh Bharat Diwas, The Social Lab (TSL) organised Plog Run in New Delhi. The event was supported by marquee brands like PepsiCo India, Varun Beverages Limited, Zomato, Star Factory and Chaayos. Aligned with the Government of India’s Swachh Bharat Mission initiative, the Plog Run 2023 was flagged off at Jawahar Lal Nehru Stadium by Shri Meenakhi Lekhi, Hon’ble Minister of State for External Affairs and Culture, and Shri Ashwini Kumar Choubey, Hon’ble Minister of State for Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution and Environment, Forest and Climate, Government of India.

With Fit India Movement at its core, this purposeful run serves as a platform to educate the public about plastic circularity and drive behavioral change. This year’s Plog Run garnered enthusiastic participation from over 500 volunteers, including volunteers and employees as they jogged and simultaneously picked up plastic waste. The Plog Run allows participants to witness the consequences of littering and becoming passionate advocates for change towards a cleaner and healthier India. Plastic waste collected during the Plog Run will undergo segregation and recycling processes to build useful items from the waste, ensuring that it does not end up in landfill.

Inaugurating the All India Plog Run, Smt. Meenakshi Lekhi, Hon’ble Minister of State for External Affairs and Culture, Government of India, 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 making our people a part of it. Plog Run is the best way to keep yourself fit and yet support the nation with your efforts towards cleanliness.”

Addressing the gathering, Shri Ashwini Kumar Choubey, Hon’ble 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. The 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 organising such an event and promoting the agenda of cleanliness.”

Speaking on the occasion, Ahmed ElSheikh, President, PepsiCo India, said, “Guided by our ‘Winning with pep+’ philosophy, PepsiCo India’s participation in the annual Plog Run is a testimony of our efforts towards creating a world where plastic never becomes waste. We are happy to extend our continued support to TSL for this year’s Plog Run, creating awareness on plastic circularity in alignment to Government’s vision of ‘Swachh Bharat’. We were thrilled to witness the remarkable surge in enthusiastic participation from volunteers and other corporates that reinforces our belief in collective action creating significant positive impact.”

Commenting on the partnership, Sahil Arora, CEO, 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 honoured 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 initiative, Rajesh Chawla, Chief Finance Officer, India, Varun Beverages Limited, said, “The Plog Run is a spectacular showcase of the synergy between physical fitness and environment responsibility. We congratulate the organisers for the continued success of the initiative and are delighted to join hands with The Social Lab (TSL) this year to provide our contribution to the cause. such initiatives go a long way towards driving the right message and creating mass awareness on plastic waste management to build a cleaner India. VBL is committed towards creating a positive impact and strive for achieving its environment and net zero commitment.”

Speaking on the occasion, Anjalli Ravi Kumar, Chief Sustainability Officer, Zomato, said, “Sustainability is at the core of Zomato’s philosophy. We have been undertaking various efforts to address Plastic Pollution, including “no cutlery required” as default option and providing plastic neutral deliveries through voluntary recycling. Plogging is an extension of this aim, we are proud to support this Plog Run and contribute to Swachh Bharat.”

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 organising Plog runs in several states across India including Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, West Bengal, Karnataka and Telangana witnessing participation from over 5,000 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 lands into landfills.