Beer brand Corona recently sponsored an usual fishing competition: Which fisherman can catch the most…plastic?
In the Sinaloa region of Mexico, rampant ocean pollution has negatively impacted the local fishing community. “When fishermen turn to the ocean, they find way more plastic than fish, and the fish they catch are way smaller than those they captured a decade ago,” says Gustavo Lauria, co-founder of We Believers, an ad agency that counts Corona as a client. Thus Lauria talked Corona into sponsoring a Plastic Fishing Tournament, whereby local fishermen would compete to see who could bring in the most plastic.
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Eighty fishermen competed, with the winner pulling in over 800 pounds of plastic to win the grand prize of 14,800 pesos (USD $740). Locally, that’s a month’s wages. All told, the competitors pulled over 3 tons of plastic out of the ocean during the event.
Every contestant was compensated; it’s unclear how the economics of this works, but Plastics News reports that “Corona hooked [all of the contestants] up with the country’s largest recycling company, Mexico Recicla, who compensated them for their hauls at rates higher than those they would be paid for fish.”
“According to Lauria, Mexico Recicla will be upcycling the retrieved plastic into tools that fishermen use on a daily basis. The company is also currently in discussions with the fisherman to formalize how they can continue to work together in the longer term.
“Lauria adds that other Mexican fishing communities got word of the tournament and have been reaching out to Corona bring the contest idea to their areas, so the brand is looking to continue the idea in other markets for the rest of the year and into 2022.”