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Interview with Erik Ahlström

Tell us a little about yourself Erik, who you are and what you do…
My name is Erik Ahlström, I live in Sweden. I love being outside and spend most of my time outside. I’ve spent many years riding bikes in the summer and skiing in the winter months. I’m also a big fan of running trails and do this regularly.

When did you start plogging and what compelled you to do it?
‘Plocka-up’ became plogga. It’s a really simple idea that says if you see some rubbish go and pick it up. Think of how much rubbish could be collected if every person that was outside – walking, jogging or running – was to pick up just one piece. It would make such a huge difference. It gives you such a good feeling on top of the running – you get a high from doing something to help take the trash out of the outdoor environment. We’ve done this for 7 years now and many are joining plogging. We want to keep building on this for the future.

What do you see for the future of plogging?
I see a huge future for plogga and can see a time where plogga is competitive. People already want to find more rubbish than the next person and to be the best at plogga. People care about what they are doing from an environmental side, but the fun and competition side comes out too. ‘Plogga World Cup’ could be something in the future, where we show off those that collect more and more junk than anyone else.

Why did you get involved with the Nikwax # PlogForPlastic initiative?
I only work with brands whose ethics I agree with. The ethos of what Nikwax do is very close to my own. I have respect for Nick Brown and his work in ethical production, reducing carbon footprint, and reducing plastic use by using recycled bottles. By taking part in # PlogForPlastic I hope I can help draw attention to the problem of plastic waste in the world, and the small steps we can all do to reduce it.

What draws you to work with a brand like Nikwax?
Many companies inside the outdoor industry talk a lot about all the things they do for the environment. The difference with Nikwax is they are the real thing when it comes to actively and proactively making a difference for the environment. I know Nick Brown brought Greenpeace to the big industry trade show – ISPO – in 2014. This started the ‘Detox’ program and meant key brands in the outdoors were forced to look in the mirror and make real change to the harm they were doing to the environment in their production process; that behaviour is what plogga is all about. We want to make real difference, and want others to join us in doing it, not just talk about making a difference.

 What is it about Nikwax’s ethics and products that appeals to you?
Nikwax always seems to me like it is ahead of its time. I know their products are all PFC-free, with nothing harmful inside, and it’s been that way for a long time. I recall hearing Nick talk this way long before the industry was all talking this way and that is what I like about Nikwax.

You have been on tour recently in the plogging van, can you tell us more about that?
I took some time out and switched off from digital to recharge my batteries. I went to Kiruna to climb and plogga Sweden’s highest mountain, Kebnekaise, with my son – who is also called Keb. Once recharged, I took the plogga van everywhere in Sweden on tour. We would stop in a place, plogga with old friends and new friends, then move on to the next place. Our quest was how much we could plogga in just one month. We are moving through Stockholm, Goteborg and Riksgransen in the very far north. The world is already talking about plogga as the Swedish eco-fitness craze that saves the world, so let’s do more of it!

Set up your own #PlogForPlastic today by e-mailing us on tom.willox@nikwax.co.uk for a starter pack.

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Become a #PlogForPlastic Partner!

Nikwax have launched an exciting new initiative to remove plastic from the outdoor environment. The Nikwax #PlogForPlastic campaign encourages people to remove plastic and other litter from our outdoor spaces by litter collecting while running or walking.

As an industry of outdoor enthusiasts, we are in a unique position to address the issue of plastic pollution through proactive collaboration. We’ve already got some great outdoor brands signed up to #PlogForPlastic, but we’re asking yourselves as sellers and distributors of Nikwax to join the #PlogForPlastic initiative and help to clean up your favourite local outdoor spaces.

Join us today and become a #PlogForPlastic Partner and we’ll support your event by:

  • Promoting your event on plogforplastic.com
  • Promoting your event on the Nikwax Facebook page
  • Providing support materials to help you promote your event
  • Sending you biodegradable rubbish collection bags
  • Sending you Nikwax BaseFresh® for participants, as a thank you for taking part.

Your Guide to running a #PlogForPlastic event:
Organising your own #PlogForPlastic event is easy, anyone can do it – you can make a real difference. All you need is:

  • An outdoor space that needs clearing of litter
  • One free hour
  • A willing volunteer to organise and lead your #PlogForPlastic event.

…And Nikwax are here to help support your event!

Click here for the How to run a #PlogForPlastic event guide.

If you would like to host a #PlogForPlastic event or series of events please contact Nikwax Head of PR, Tom Willox on +44 (0) 1892 786 464 or Email: tom.willox@nikwax.co.uk.

 

 

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#PlogForPlastic with Nikwax and help tackle plastic pollution!

At the recent OutDoor by ISPO show in Munich, Nikwax® was excited to announce a new campaign to help tackle the issue of plastic pollution. Nikwax has teamed up with Swedish trail runner, Erik Ahlström, to launch #PlogForPlastic.

Erik Ahlström is the founder of a concept called Plogging – it simply means litter picking whilst jogging! The term Plogging combines `jogging` with `plocka upp` – Swedish for `pick up`. An activity anyone can get involved with, Plogging is suitable for all ages and fitness abilities. The movement has picked up in other countries, including the US, over the last couple of years and will benefit both participants and the environment around them.

Why should you care about plastic pollution?
It is an uncomfortable truth that plastic pollution is harming our planet’s most sensitive and vital ecosystems. From the deepest oceans to inland habitats and waterways, the volume of plastic accumulation in our natural world is causing long-term damage to natural habitats and wildlife. It makes our enjoyment of the great outdoors harder, because we are ultimately responsible for the decline in threatened species and the destruction of such valuable habitats.

The release of plastic into the environment is unnecessary and unless we take action, we will not have the green outdoors to step into and enjoy, that we have had for so many years.

So, what is the Nikwax #PlogForPlastic campaign and how can you get involved?
It is easy to join in on our campaign! Nikwax will be hosting a series of Plogging events in parks across the UK and Europe this summer. Our aim is to encourage people of all ages and fitness levels to step outdoors and be active whilst helping us clean up the environment in the process. Just kit yourself out in your running gear and bring a pair of gloves to litter pick! The reward, aside from keeping fit, is seeing the green space where you live turned back to a healthy environment that everybody can enjoy. Now that is good for body and soul!

That is not all… If you want to set up your own Plogging event then we can help you do so! Perhaps you are part of a running club and you want to give your runners a new challenge? Do you just want to bring members of your community together for a day? Let us know and we will send you a #PlogForPlastic starter kit! The kit includes information on how to organise your own plog, as well as posters, flyers and samples. We will also promote your own #PlogForPlastic via our website and social media – to help you get coverage and participants for your event!

The Nikwax #PlogForPlastic event information is available HERE.

What will benefit from your #PlogForPlastic?
First and foremost, the local green space where you choose to Plog! It will return to a natural state, with no plastic to damage the environment there. Every Plog undertaken will lead to a greater amount of areas freed up from plastic pollution – a great benefit!

Alongside this, every piece of plastic collected during our campaign will count towards a project run by the European Outdoor Conservation Association (EOCA). “Plastic Free: Mountain to Sea” has been set up with a focus to clear plastic waste from 3,000km of natural habitat within the next two years. Nikwax has supported EOCA for over 12 years and we are delighted to think that our campaign could help them achieve their target.

Why has Nikwax decided to #PlogForPlastic?
Nikwax has always been responsible when it comes to using plastic to deliver its Sweatproofing and Waterproofing aftercare. We have always ensured that our bottles are fully recyclable. In January 2019, we announced that by the end of 2020, one hundred percent of our bottles will be made from post-consumer recycled plastic.

We are committed to raising awareness of the hazard caused by plastic pollution and we want to further our goal of taking plastic out of the natural environment. What better way to do this, by combining an activity that encourages everyone to get outdoors and be healthy and active, whilst cleaning up the green space around them?

Tips for you to #PlogForPlastic!
If you cannot make any of the Nikwax events, there are many ways you can undertake a Plog.

  • Not much of a runner? You can #PlogForPlastic whilst out on a nice walk – take an early morning stroll in some woodland, or along a beach, and see what you can collect whilst there.
  • Want to keep the kids busy during summer holidays? Set them a challenge of their own Plog and see who can collect the most within an hour. Ensure they have protective gloves on and keep a watchful eye over them though, to make sure they don’t pick up anything which could hurt them, such as glass.
  • Turn your normal dog walk in to a dog jog and combine your everyday activity into one where you not only keep your pet happy and healthy, but you are keeping your environment tidy too.
  • Dress appropriately! Jogging can be tiring but when you are plogging you are turning your fitness into a different exercise routine, what with bending down to pick up litter. You want some comfortable, breathable base layers that will wick away sweat whilst you Plog and keep your body temperature regulated. Give your base layers some care first by using Nikwax BaseFresh® in your laundry – the formula ensures any nasty body odours are removed from your gear, keeping you smelling fresh whilst plogging.

Tell us about your #PlogForPlastic! We want to hear about any plogging event you participate in – we can share these stories and encourage others to get up and out to help clear up the environment.

For all things #PlogForPlastic, check out our site HERE

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Nikwax launches #PlogForPlastic, an initiative to clean up the Outdoors

Restore, Renew, Re-use, Recycle

Whilst plastic has brought many benefits to humankind, it is the uncomfortable truth that plastic pollution is spoiling our planet’s most sensitive and vital ecosystems. From the deepest oceans to inland habitats and waterways, the volume of plastic accumulation in our natural world is causing long-term damage to natural habitats, and wildlife.

Releasing plastic waste into our environment is unnecessary, and wholly destructive.

As a responsible user of plastic to deliver its Waterproofing and Sweatproofing aftercare, Nikwax® has always ensured that its bottles are fully recyclable. In addition, in January 2019 Nikwax announced that, by the end of 2020, one hundred percent of its bottles will be made from post-consumer recycled plastic.  

To further the aim of keeping plastic out of wild spaces, Nikwax is now also sponsoring a novel clean-up initiative.

#PlogForPlastic means litter picking whilst you jog, for cleaner green spaces
Nikwax has teamed up with Swedish trail runner, Erik Ahlström, the founder of Plogging – litter picking whilst jogging – to launch the Nikwax #PlogForPlastic campaign. The campaign will encourage people of all ages and fitness abilities, to step outdoors and be active whilst removing litter that is of detriment to their local environment – benefitting the participants through activity and ultimately, the planet, through the removal of waste.

Chris Field, Commercial Director at Nikwax said, 
“Plastic pollution is today one of the most serious environmental problems affecting our world. At Nikwax, we are committed to raising awareness of the problem, so that more and more people are empowered to stop plastic pollution by changing their attitudes and habits.

The new Nikwax #PlogForPlastic campaign aims to inspire everyone, from brands to local outdoor groups and individuals, to get outside and help clean up our outdoor spaces. We are optimistic that we can all take a lead together to protect the Great Outdoors that we all love.”

How the #PlogForPlastic initiative supports the EOCA “Plastic Free: Mountain to Sea campaign”
Nikwax will host a series of Plogging events throughout parks in the UK, Germany and Benelux, to encourage people to get outdoors, while actively raising awareness of plastic pollution and highlighting the benefits of cleaning up their green space.

Nikwax aims to engage over 100,000 people in the #PlogForPlastic campaign, by the end of January 2020 and encourage other outdoor companies to join and further their environmental commitment.

All plastic collected during #PlogForPlastic will count towards the European Outdoor Conservation Association’s (EOCA) `Plastic Free: Mountain to Sea` campaign; a campaign focused on clearing plastic waste from 3,000km of natural habitat within the next two years.

Information on Plogging events will be announced via the Nikwax website and social media, from July 15th 2019.

Keep up to date with all things related to Nikwax #PlogForPlastic HERE