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Plawking: combining litter picking with a walk for sustainable wellbeing

Trust: Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust
Location: Mill View Hospital, Hove 

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Circular Economy
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What's the idea?

Paula Bellers is a Communications Officer in Research and Development at Sussex Partnership who wanted to make Mill View Hospital a clean, green space for staff and service users alike. And with most plastic pollution in the ocean coming from rubbish blown out the sea, litter picking seemed like a great place to start. 

She’d heard of ‘Plogging’ which combines jogging with litter picking as a community activity and thought it could be the answer to solving the problem of litter around Mill View. Her colleagues, although happy to get involved had health issues which meant jogging was off the cards and so ‘Plawking’ was invented, combining a litter pick with a walk instead. 

A small group was formed, and they meet for lunch every few weeks to take a walk around the site, get fresh air and exercise, and gather any litter they spot. With patients also invited to join, the impacts go far and wide.

Members of staff litter picking
Did you know: about 2.25 million pieces of litter are dropped in UK streets every year!

How you could implement a similar idea

Paula simply asked around colleagues who she thought might be interested to get involved; you could do the same and get a little group together, whether just for a healthy lunch time walk, or a more active litter picking session. 

Ask your Trust charity, wellbeing group or estates and facilities team if they can fund some litter picking kit such as a set of pincers and gloves to make sure you stay safe while doing your bit for green spaces. 

There are local litter picks you can join too if you’d like to try something outside of work – have a look online or at the links below for something local to you. 


If you’re interested but would like a bit more understanding around litter picking to support your local green spaces or beaches, or walking for wellbeing check out these links for more information and inspiration… 


The Care Without Carbon difference


Supports both staff and patient wellbeing and mental health recovery
Man litter picking

Reduced plastic pollution

Litter was collected and then sorted into recycling and general waste, cutting plastic pollution locally and increasing recycling which saves carbon emissions
Litter being sorted


Just 29 minutes spent outdoors in your meal break results in an average 45% increase in productivity so a plawk is a good idea all round
Two people enjoying a walk
Person litter picking
Person litter picking

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