• Clean Bay project team makes field trip and celebrates 25 tons of waste removed from Guanabara Bay by fishermen

    DATE: 01/24/2024

    Published by: Ocyan

    A model initiative for combating ocean pollution, the project was also visited by companies and social actors working in the region

    Last week, the “Clean Bay” project team, supported by Ocyan in partnership with BVRio, gathered at an event to celebrate, together with the fishermen, the successful collection of more than 25 tons of solid waste in Guanabara Bay ahead of schedule. The event also aimed to present the initiative to two companies, a chamber of commerce and social actors already working in the region.

    “We celebrated the milestone of 25 tons of waste collected in three months of Clean Bay work. This is a time to celebrate and to talk to other players in the market who can join our work and join forces to create a network for the benefit of Guanabara Bay, either to expand the project or even to associate other initiatives to complement it,” says André Luiz Barros, Ocyan’s Communications and Social Responsibility manager.

    During the field trip, the team worked with fishermen on the beach near the UFRJ Hangar to experience the entire process, from collecting, sorting, weighing and recording the waste using the KOLEKT app, which allows verification and certification in accordance with current regulations. The team’s work with the fishermen that morning resulted in the collection of 1273 kg of waste. “This direct exchange with the fishermen is extremely important because they are the protagonists of this action. It is because of them that the project becomes viable. It’s a job that combines environmental and climate proactivity with local and human development,” said André Luiz Barros.

    “The initiative to get people to collect waste in places where there is no public cleaning is fundamental to understanding the scale of the problem. In a 20m stretch of beach we found a bit of everything: bags, bottles and various plastic items, as was unfortunately expected, but we also found dolls, strollers, balls, box beds, water tank lids, syringes, clothes etc. All of this was carried by the rivers into Guanabara Bay until it was deposited on this beach,” commented Pedro Succar, BVRio’s circular economy specialist.

    Among the main materials found in the 25 tons removed from Guanabara Bay in just three months were almost 10 tons of plastic bags, 5 tons of foam, 5 tons of backpacks and clothing, 1.5 tons of rigid plastics and more than 1 ton of glass bottles.

    Cumulative total for the first three months of operation:

    Material coletado Peso (kg) % do total coletado
    Plastic bags 9.941,71 kg 40%
    Foam 5.619,97 kg 23%
    Backpacks, bags and clothes 5.037,33 kg 20%
    Recyclable plastic 1.568,94 kg 6%
    Glass 1.088,17 kg 4%
    Slippers and sneakers 801,36 kg 3%
    Electronics 100,21kg 1%
    Rubber 68kg 0,27%
    Metals 10,48kg 0,04%

    Since its launch, the project has achieved significant results in cleaning up Guanabara Bay, contributing to the maintenance and preservation of the local flora and fauna and increasing the income of the fishermen who collect the waste. The project has 20 fishermen from two traditional colonies in Caju and Ilha do Governador dedicating two days a week to “fishing” for waste, with the goal of removing 100 tons from Guanabara Bay by October 2024.

    Ester Bayerl, Ocyan’s Coordinator for Social and Environmental Responsibility, Diversity and Inclusion, said that the visit “highlights the importance of thinking about actions that address the SDGs from different perspectives, especially with regard to valuing traditional knowledge and its importance in mapping and identifying changes in biomes. It’s a beautiful project, well worth getting to know and taking part in, especially since there is still a challenge to solve in our generation: how and when are we going to remove the waste dumped in Guanabara Bay?”


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