Monday, 30 November 2020 10:58

Spanish fisherman develops app to help remove litter

EM6 20 News Int PloggingWhen Spanish fisherman and sportsman Miquel Ferrés from Catalonia got introduced to the sports trend ’plogging,’ he decided to make it smarter. Plogging is a combination of jogging and picking up litter in Sweden, where it was founded around 2016, and from where it has spread to other countries following increasing public concern about the environment and plastic pollution. To make plogging more popular, Miquel Ferrés and his two sisters decided to create a mobile phone application, Twinapp. The app enables runners, hikers, cyclists, and eco-swimmers to create com- munities of sports lovers who clean up the environment while they are exercising.

So far, Twinapp, which is available in Catalan, Spanish, English, and French, has been downloaded more than 3,500 times, with usage stretching from Spain to Argentina. The app has received two prizes for the use of new technologies to involve people in waste collection activities.
Twinapp has been used successfully in the campaign, Moute Pel Mar, organised by Ferrés to raise awareness about marine litter and is supported by the Costa Brava Fisheries Local Action Group. It included workshops on marine litter involving local residents and authorities, swimming, running or walking outings aimed at collecting litter on land and at sea, and beach clean-ups. Some 700 people took part in the initiatives, and thanks to the link between the project promoters and the fishing sector, 300 local fishers were also mobilised, collecting the litter while fishing during the week before each event. In total, 10 tonnes of waste were collected at these events. The development of the app was supported by the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF) and is a successful example of how the use of new technologies can address local challenge.