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The world's first plastic fishing contest

Words by Smiley Team

With fears that by 2050, there could be more plastic at sea than fish, beer company Corona has come up with a way to tackle plastic pollution while offering fisherfolk new livelihoods. Together with local communities, it raised awareness of the issue, leading the world’s first-ever plastic fishing tournament.

Nets, tackles, boats at the ready, about 150 community members rallied behind the initiative, taking it upon themselves to collect waste plastic from the ocean. 

From North America and South America to Asia and the Middle East, these dedicated individuals spent 15 hours collectively fishing for this worrying source of pollution.

Contests were held in Mexico, China, Brazil and Israel, where local fisherpeople competed to collect hauls of plastic waste. They returned their catches to plastic recycling centres and received compensation for their work, offering a new opportunity to generate income.

The initiative hopes to turn this unprecedented problem into impactful solutions. While some of the plastic will get recycled, other hauls will be transformed by local artists into community sculptures or used to make beachwear and pallets for transporting goods. 

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Reflecting on Corona’s efforts to produce net-zero plastic waste, Felipe Ambra, global vice president for Corona said: “Corona’s Plastic Fishing Tournament is another step forward in our long-term purpose to leave no plastic in nature. We feel it is our responsibility to protect paradise for generations to come, and we want to lead the way and inspire others to do the same.”

Working closely with Corona on the tournament, Gustavo Lauria, Co-Founder and CCO of advertising agency We Believers said: “It is an honour to be able to work for a brand that demonstrates its commitment with actions, by creating and developing scalable platforms that have a real impact on the lives of people and the planet.”

In 2016 researchers found that in the following two decades and a half, ocean plastic could triple. More worrying still, they expected this quantity to continue rising till there is more plastic than fish in the sea by 2050. A consensus is building that to tackle the issue successfully will require mass industrial action and policy changes.

Dominic Waughray of the World Economic Forum said: “This report demonstrates the importance of triggering a revolution in the plastics industrial ecosystem and is a first step to showing how to transform the way plastics move through our economy. 

“To move from insight to large-scale action, it is clear that no one actor can work on this alone. The public, private sector and civil society all need to mobilize to capture the opportunity of the new circular plastics economy.”


SUPPORT: To become a part of the solution, take a look at what Surfers Against Sewage are doing to tackle ocean plastic pollution and get involved.

DONATE: If you’re living further inland but want to support people doing beach cleanups and lobbying politicians to tackle plastic pollution, donate to Surfers Against Sewage.

This article aligns with the following UN SDGs

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