Japan on Wednesday hosted the inaugural Spogomi World Cup - a unique competition centred around rubbish collection.
Teams from 21 countries participated in the event, scouring the streets of Tokyo for empty cans, plastic fragments, and discarded cigarettes.
The United Kingdom (UK) emerged victorious in the first-ever Spogomi World Cup title.
Conceived in 2008, the sport's name blends the words "sport" and "gomi," the Japanese term for rubbish.
Spogomi founder Kenichi Mamitsuka, inspired by his habit of picking up litter during his morning runs, recognized the potential of gamifying the activity to enhance its appeal, as reported by AFP.
"My ambition is for spogomi to become an Olympic demonstration event if national spogomi associations are formed," Mamitsuka conveyed to the news agency.
According to organizers, the competitors, hailing from countries such as the United States (US), Australia, and France, collectively collected a staggering 548 kilograms of litter.
Equipped with gloves, metal tongs, and rubbish bags, each three-person team received points based on the quantity and types of rubbish they gathered.
Gathering rubbish from private properties was prohibited, and following each collection session, participants were allotted 20 minutes to categorize the collected litter into distinct categories, including burnable waste, recyclable plastic bottles, metal cans, cigarette butts, and other items.
"It's disappointing because we wanted to win this event," lamented Tomoe Takahashi, a member of the Japanese team from Niigata Prefecture, as quoted by The Mainichi.
"Nevertheless, I hope more people worldwide will develop an interest in environmental issues."
With a total rubbish collection of 57.27 kilograms, the UK amassed 9,046.1 points to secure their position as the tournament's champions.
Tokyo is slated to host the second Spogomi World Cup in 2025.