A participating boat in the Mazatlán plastic fishing tournament. A participating boat in the Mazatlán plastic fishing tournament.

First-ever plastic fishing tournament retrieves 2.9 tonnes of garbage

Prizes totaling 30,000 pesos were awarded to the boats that 'caught' the most plastic

Almost three tonnes of garbage were cleared from waters around Mazatlán, Sinaloa, last Saturday, in the city’s first plastic fishing tournament.

Around 60 participants on 30 boats spent four hours retrieving 2.9 tonnes of plastic from the channel between Urías estuary and Stone Island, an area which has been badly affected by tourists leaving garbage, according to the newspaper El Economista.

The resurfaced plastics were received by local recycling company México Recicla, which organized the initiative alongside the beer company Corona and the environmental organization MazConCiencia.

Cash prizes were awarded to the three most successful boats, as symbolic evidence that plastic fishing is a potential source of income for local people. The first prize of 15,000 pesos, about US $750, was awarded to a boat that brought in a 319-kilogram haul; second place prize of 10,000 pesos went to a boat that picked up 212 kilos; and 5,000 pesos was presented for a 200-kilo “catch.”

All participants received a medal for their efforts, as well as compensatory coupons for gasoline and boat cleaning utensils made from recycled plastics.

Around 8 million tonnes of plastic garbage are generated per year in Mexico, only 32% of which is recycled. In Mexico City 90% of PET is recycled, but in the rest of the country the figure stands at 56% due to a lack of recycling infrastructure.

Corona has previously promoted its environmental credentials. It was the first beverage company in the world to achieve a net zero plastic footprint and it launched an augmented reality app called “Plastic Reality” for World Oceans Day, which showed users their personal plastic footprint and advised them how to reduce it.

Each year 13 million tonnes of plastics are discarded in the world’s oceans, according to the United Nations.

With reports from El Economista

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