We all have to start somewhere
Earlier this June, adidas and Parley For The Oceans celebrated their partnership and World Oceans Day by introducing Alphabounce+ Parley, running shoes made from plastic spun into yarn, and through a literal run for the ocean. Participants, comprised of newbie and professional runners, were tasked to cover a 3- to 5-kilometer plog. A plogging session by the way, originates from Scandinavian culture, where one picks up litter while jogging or running. For every kilometer run (until the first 1.5 million kilometers) between June 8 and 16, adidas gave a dollar to the Parley Ocean School Program. Though it only counts when you download and log on to this app.
It was a humid afternoon and Air Juan Seaplane Terminal in Pasay was packed with a diverse mix of individuals; adidas’ own community of runners, fitness enthusiasts, ocean warriors, etc. I’ve never run a marathon or plogged until the event. Meanwhile on the sustainability front, I’ve made some effort (minimal, really) in going plastic-free and consuming less in general. But I signed up because why not? It was for a good cause anyway.
It all began with a talk by The Plastic Solution, a movement for repurposing plastic bottles by stuffing them with non-biodegradable plastic wastes. Guests were educated about the marine plastic pollution problem and just some of the many ways people can do their part: starting your own eco bricks, bringing your own bags and keeping plastic use to a minimum. Fun fact: aside from donating your eco bricks, you can use them to make your own furniture. Just make sure the bottles are all the same size.
Run, come on, run
Beginners were assigned to a 3-km plog and the more advanced of runners, to a 5-km plog. I took the former with a small bag on my back for my own supplies and well, for some trash. But because I was a little out of practice and mostly out of breath for the duration of the run, I was able to pick up zero trash. Though watching participants, young and old, run around the streets of Manila and through Saturday traffic while collecting plastic litter was a pretty inspiring sight.
Reaping the results
The day ended with a yoga session by Nikki Torres and plenty of time to check out the booths and displays by Kids For Kids, a non-profit organization solely run by kids, for kids in need, and Retaso PH, an initiative that uses textile waste to create an alternative to plastic bags.
I might have failed at plogging but the fight to save our oceans is not lost. My family and I have since resumed repurposing plastic bottles into eco bricks at home, opted out of single-use plastic as much as we can and now bring our own water bottles everywhere.
What about you? Between planet or plastic, which one would you choose?
Art Alexandra Lara