SPOGOMI is a completely new sport originating in Japan in 2008 by the representative of Social Sports Initiative, Mamitsuka Kenichi, under the slogan, “Trash pickup is a sport!” – one that makes a city beautiful and helps the environment.

SPOGOMI adds the essence of “sports” to the conventional garbage pick-up that companies and organizations engage in, transforming conventional social service activities into competitions.

Participants in Indonesia collect trash from the street during their SPOGOMI event in April 2023
SPOGOMI Indonesia Participation image

Participation Overview

Teams of three people form teams and compete for points awarded according to the amount and type of trash picked up in a designated area within a time limit. According to the World Cup rules, teams are made up of three people, and the time limit is one hour (with an additional 20 minutes for sorting).

Anyone can enter, regardless of age or gender, though at least one person must be over the age of 18. The team that scores the most points at the end of the event will be invited to represent South Africa in the SPOGOMI World Cup 2023 event in Japan in November!

Image of a winners certificate
Winners Certificate

What Is The Issue?

According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature, over 400 million tons of plastic are produced annually, and at least 14 million tons of plastic end up in the ocean each year. Plastic makes up 80% of all marine debris found from surface waters to deep-sea sediments, which threatens marine ecosystems, food safety and quality, human health, coastal tourism and contributes to climate change.

By 2050, plastic will likely outweigh all fish in the sea (UNESCO).

With approximately 80% of all marine litter comes from land, trash pickup is the last line of defence. SPOGOMI aims to create an opportunity for action and a global movement to reduce marine litter that transcends national and generational boundaries.

Trash on a river around three small rowboats
Plastic Pollution (UNESCO)

About The Nippon Foundation

Logos for The Nippon Foundation and the Change For The Blue initiative
The Nippon Foundation - Change For The Blue

The Nippon Foundation’s mission is social innovation, through which they aim to achieve a society where all people support one another, reducing the burdens and challenges they face together.

Everyone has a role to play: citizens, corporations, nonprofit organizations, governments, and international bodies. By forging networks among these actors, The Nippon Foundation serves as a hub for the world’s wisdom, experience, and human resources, giving individuals the capacity to change society—the hope that they can make a difference.

“Our goal is to give all of humanity the chance to participate in creating our future.” For more information please see The Nippon Foundation website.

The CHANGE FOR THE BLUE project, launched in 2019, is a joint public, private, and academic sector project to raise national and global awareness of the problem of ocean debris and make each individual resolve “not to allow any more plastic waste to enter the ocean.”

Proudly Supported by UNIQLO

As part of its commitment to sustainability, UNIQLO supports the reduction of plastic waste in the sale of clothing and microplastics as well as the reduction of plastic that makes its way into our waterways and oceans. You can read more about UNIQLO’s partnership with SPOGOMI here. and their other sustainability initiatives here.

Hosted by Social Sports Initiative.