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Britain wins litter-picking World Cup with load of rubbish

Britain came out on top when 21 teams from around the world gathered in Tokyo this week to collect litter in the inaugural SpoGomi World Cup, an initiative aimed at raising awareness of environmental issues. The teams of three from countries as far afield as Australia and Brazil scoured the streets of Shibuya and Omotesando for 90 minutes over two sessions looking for waste and then sorting what they had found into appropriate categories. Japan's famously high standards of hygiene and cleanliness made finding rubbish challenging for some of the competitors.

The name SpoGomi comes from the conflation of an abbreviation of "sport" with the Japanese word for trash, "gomi". Invented in 2008 to encourage people to pick up litter in public places, it has grown in popularity to the extent that some 230 contests have been held in Japan this year.

Organisers the Nippon Foundation said the World Cup had been held to raise awareness of environmental issues, in particular that of plastic pollution in the oceans.

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