Home / Funny / Viral / Japan Inspires Trash Collection Through Competitive Sport Called SpoGomi


Sports have become more and more eco-friendly, whether it's through the use of recycled materials to make medals or the reduction of plastic waste in arenas. But what if the purpose of the sport itself was to benefit the environment directly? Check out SpoGomi, a competitive sport where teams must gather trash and litter within a predetermined area and time frame. In addition to improving their communities and getting exercise, people also help cut down on pollution. Overall, it's a success!

SpoGomi is derived from the words "sports" and "gomi," which are Japanese words for "trash." SpoGomi was developed in Japan in 2008 to encourage recycling of waste as a means of protecting the environment and combating climate change. According to a message from SpoGomi, "the marine litter problem is becoming increasingly serious worldwide." The "last line of defence" to stop garbage from entering the ocean is to pick it up, as it is estimated that 80% of the trash in the ocean originates from land, namely cities. Through establishing connections between nations and individuals, we have further broadened our global circle.

With the help of The Nippon Foundation, the sport is now so well-liked that it is competing all over the world, with the inaugural SpoGomi World Cup taking place in Japan in November 2023. Participants came from all 20 countries and prefectures in Japan; the UK team won first place. But SpoGomi is more than just trash collection; there are a lot of guidelines. Depending on the area and trash to be picked up, these game rules can be changed. Teams of three to five people are usually tasked with gathering as much trash as they can in the allotted time and area. An hour is usually allotted for trash collection, followed by an additional 20 minutes for accurate sorting.

Since some trash can be more difficult to find or more harmful to the environment than others, each piece of litter receives a different number of points.

The World Cup regional preliminary round rules state that PET plastic bottles are worth 25 points, cans and bottles are worth 12 points, and burnable and nonburnable trash is worth 10 points per 100 grams, according to Nippon.com. Cigarette butts are the ultimate prize in competitive trash picking; each one earns the team 100 points.

Teams are prohibited from collecting trash that is already in another person's bin, according to additional regulations. They are also unable to pick up hazardous waste or large items because everything has to fit into the provided trash bags. Furthermore, walking is the recommended mode of transportation as this is an attempt to enhance the surrounding area.

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