1967. Vivek Gurav
Vivek Gurav, from Bristol, is a University of Bristol student and environmentalist who has brought “Plogging” to the city, encouraging people to combine a daily jog with a litter-pick of their local streets.
Originally from Pune in India, Vivek had been inspired by the Swedish concept of “plogging” – which combines from “jogga”, a jog, jogging with “plocka upp”, a pick-up, and aims to encourage people who use their local streets the most to take pride in keeping them clean – and set up a plogging community in the city known as ‘Pune Ploggers’ with over 10,000 members who have collected over 1,000 tonnes of rubbish. After gaining a scholarship to study in Bristol, he brought the initiative with him, and has been bringing together a ‘Bristol Ploggers’ group, carrying out over 250 running challenges across the city to tackle litter. So far, over 140 volunteers have collectively covered more than 400 miles of streets in Bristol, clearing 3,750 kilograms of litter.
“The award came as a surprise! I believe this award amplifies the cause of climate action that I have been trying to promote through litter picking. Every individual matters, every action counts in the race to fight climate change and this award strengthens this belief of my entire community of ploggers based in India as well as UK to keep going. It’s an honour and a privilege to be recognised by the Prime Minister himself.”
Professor Judith Squires, Acting Vice-Chancellor and President of the University of Bristol, said:
“Vivek’s drive to change the world for the better is nothing short of inspiring.
“Together with his volunteers he has picked up thousands of tonnes of rubbish. It has taken hard work, intelligence and generosity of spirit – all traits that Vivek has in spades.
“We are delighted that his amazing work on the streets of Bristol, Pune and further afield has been recognised by the Prime Minister.”