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Corona, a Mexican beer brand, announced a ‘Plastic Fishing’ Tournament in Mazatlán, Mexico, where fishermen were paid to gather plastic debris from the ocean. The brand has a long history of avoiding plastic pollution around coastlines, but with the help of We Believers, they’ve opted to set their sights on the deep sea.

Eighty fishermen participated, and in total, they removed three tonnes of waste from the water. The winner landed 815 pounds of plastic and received 14,800 pesos, the equivalent of a month’s earnings for fishing. The second place received 10,000 pesos for around 467 pounds of garbage, while the third-place received 5,000 pesos for about 440 pounds.

The various participants were contacted by Mexico Recicla, the largest recycling company in the country, which reimbursed them at higher rates than the rates they would earn for fish for the waste they accumulated from the sea. The company intends to upcycle the plastic into gear that fishers can use daily. Furthermore, there is a debate about formalising fishing work.

Gustavo Lauria, the co-founder of We Believers, said: “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. That’s how we connected the dots to encourage them to collect plastic instead of fish, creating a new source of income for their communities.”

Various Mexican fishing groups have requested that the competition include their regions since its launch. Corona aims to meet the requirements of this RFP for the years 2021 and 2022.

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