Imagine a world free of plastic
Cape Town, World Oceans Day, June 8, 2022:
In recognition of World Oceans Day, Africa’s first Plastic Fishing Tournament took place in Cape Town recently with fishermen heading out to sea to reel in some of the ocean’s greatest scourge – plastic. Over 20 boats and 100 fishermen participated in the Plastic Fishing Tournament and covered over 30 square kilometres of the Atlantic Ocean, retrieving 300kg of plastic debris within three hours.
The tournament and the impact of marine plastic pollution on Cape fishing communities are also captured in the new, short format film above-entitled Plastic Fishing, from Corona Studios. The South African tournament is the African leg of similar Corona Plastic Fishing tournaments which have taken place in Mexico, China, Brazil, and Israel, where local fishermen competed to remove plastic debris from the ocean. They then returned their catches to plastic recycling centres and received compensation for their work.
The initiative supports Corona’s longstanding commitment to plastic-free oceans by raising awareness of the plastic crisis and finding ways to expand preservation efforts from the rivers and beaches to the sea. Globally, Mexico is joined by various other countries who are marked World Oceans Day with awareness-driven beach installations made from retrieved plastic, spelling out the message 'Imagine a World Free of Plastic' in their local languages.
Current figures on marine plastic pollution are alarming. With up to 250 000 metric tons of plastic – ending up in South Africa’s oceans yearly, according to the United Nations Environment Programme it is estimated that by 2050 there will be more plastic than fish in the sea, impacting the livelihood of fishing communities. To make matters worse, the amount of plastic trash that flows into the oceans every year is expected to triple by 2040.
“As a fisherman, I can see the degradation that plastic is having on our oceans and how it is affecting the catch of fisherfolk along our coastline. We know we must do something about it. Even if we are small in comparison to the problem, we can make a difference in our every day,” said Kegan Mattheys, director of Fishing Republic, who collaborated with Corona on the Plastic Fishing Tournament.
The plastic retrieved from False Bay and Hout Bay will be recycled by Ramtsilo Manufacturing and made into beach benches to be placed along the Cape coast, reminding passers-by that the scourge of marine plastic pollution starts with us.
“The sea is what sustains all life, and it is tragic how much single-use plastic ends up in the ocean. It’s a plague. As a brand born on the beach, Corona wants to be part of the solution as well as encourage people to be more mindful of how they dispose of plastic because it can easily end up in the ocean, with devastating effects on marine life,” said Melanie Nicholson, Marketing Manager: Corona.
In 2021, Corona became the first global beverage brand to achieve a Net Zero Plastic footprint, recovering more plastic from the environment than it releases into the world. To date, Corona initiatives have included over 1,400 clean-ups, engagement with over 68,000 volunteers, and the collection of plastic waste from more than 44 million square meters of beach.
Plastic Fishing is a beautifully shot, short format film directed by Dylan Boerstra, documenting the Plastic Fishing Tournament and how marine plastic pollution is affecting communities on the Cape Town coast.
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