Lots of money is spent on waste collection annually, but citizens continue to leave waste behind, both in the forest and in the sea and on the roads, creating a major burden on the economy and on environmental sustainability. Therefore, on August 23, the 31st anniversary of the Baltic Way, TRASHMOB encourages activity and sustainability: run from Rīga to Melturi while picking up trash along the road.
Organizer Tālis Banga came up with the idea while doing his daily workouts. “They happen most often in the woods where I've seen a lot of plastic bottles and cans. To give added value to workouts, I started collecting garbage one day. This was the idea of creating the movement – we can simply combine everyday activities with waste collection,” he said.
Banga explained that Melturi had been chosen as the finish line of the run because there he had stood on the Baltic Way 31 years ago.
“31 years ago I did it in the name of free Latvia - now I will do it in the name of clean Latvia,” the long-distance runner said.
The planned route is about 80 kilometers and will take about 9-10 hours. The waste collected during the run will periodically be loaded into the accompanying car, where it will be weighed, sorted and accounted for.
In order to make waste collection more convenient, Banga, together with its partners, has also created a dedicated waste bag of ultra-flexible material that is innovative worldwide. For the time being, it is in the development process and is actively tested in the training process, but will be available to residents of Latvia and other countries soon.