Responsible Runners Bondi started more than a decade ago, with a group of friends willing to pick up rubbish as they jogged along Bondi Beach. It became mainstream and the movement grew up in other suburbs to do regular clean-ups.
The local Bondi group started again in November 2020 with a monthly event. The format is simple: we start with a 5km bootcamp run (3 stops along the way to do Tabata Exercises), then we come back to the start, meet people who don’t run (inclusivity is key!), and do a 30 minutes cleanup of the local parks or beaches. In the end, we make sure to carefully separate waste streams and count each type of item collected to log them in the Australian Marine Debris Initiative.
In only 6 cleanups, we collected 2147 cigarette butts (214m length end to end!), 35 coffee cups, 44 plastic bottle caps, 50 plastic cup lids, >100 soft plastic, and 393 glass bottles metallic caps.
With this extended lockdown in Sydney, we haven’t met for 3 months now. Meanwhile, we can all see face masks floating in the ocean, as well as morning coffee cups falling off from full bins. Indeed, 8 million items of litter enter the marine environment every day!
That’s why we decided to partner with a Running Challenge organisation called Running Heroes.
From the 15th of August to the 15th of September, you can register for a plogging lockdown challenge. All the instructions are here. You need to download the app, do your 3km run or walk, collect litter on your way and then you may be a lucky winner!
We initially thought we could offer T-shirt or material gifts, but it was not aligned with what we want to encourage people to do (Reduce / Reuse / Refuse / Recycle). So we decided to partner with a local restaurant, which has been supporting the group since its beginning. Funky Pies is a well-established eatery in Bondi cooking delicious vegan pies and pastries. The owner of the shop was really enthusiastic about the idea and will generously offer 5 pies and coffee to five lucky winners! In this process, a food swap was also created: a weekly supply of rosemary from a Responsible Runners volunteer who has plenty in her garden. This is the perfect example of community support and resiliency, which is what Transition Bondi wants to encourage.
We hope you will take the challenge! Otherwise, we encourage you to support your local favorite restaurant, exercise, stay connected and keep our beaches and parks beautiful!