In the first-ever SpoGomi World Cup held in Tokyo, 21 teams from across the globe convened to adress environmental issues.
The teams of three from countries as far as Australia and Brazil combed the streets of Shibuya and Omotesando for 90 minutes during two sessions.
Equipped with gloves, metal tongs and rubbish bags, each team earned points according to the quantity and varieties of litter they gathered.
However, collecting rubbish from private properties was not allowed and the players were given 20 minutes after each session to sort litter into different categories including burnable waste, recyclable plastic bottles, metal cans, cigarette and others.
Britain’s team, The North Will Rise Again’ beat the host trio by earning 9,046.1 points for collecting 57.27 kilograms of rubbish.
“A lot of the other teams maybe were more ecological, and less sport, and we’re probably the opposite, but we’ve taken so much away about how much we need to clean up our oceans and reduce litter,” team captain Sarah Parry said after collecting the trophy on Wednesday.
The name SpoGomi originates from the fusion of a shortened form of “sport” and the Japanese word for trash, “gomi.”
Invented in 2008 with the aim of motivating individuals to clean up public spaces, it has gained significant traction, hosting approximately 230 contestants in Japan this year.
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Nippon Foundation, organizers of the event, stated that the World Cup was conducted with the goal of heightening awareness about environmental issues, specifically emphasizing the issue of plastic pollution in the oceans.
The second World Cup wil be held in Tokyo in 2025.