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Corona on how big thinking is cleaning our oceans

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By The Drum | Editorial

December 4, 2023 | 3 min read

Beer brand Corona launched an innovative initiative to encourage fishermen to go to sea not to catch fish, but to catch plastic and clean the oceans. The campaign won The Chair's Award at The Drum Awards for Social Purpose and also won the Big Thinking and Environment categories. Here is the award-winning case study.

Example of the campaign work

Corona has been committed to the sea and its preservation since the very beginning, but its awareness and beach cleaning platforms are no longer enough: 14 million tons of plastic end up in the ocean every year.

The state of the oceans is so alarming that this time, the brand decided to take its commitment deep into the ocean. Corona created the first-ever Plastic Fishing Tournament: a global scale-initiative where fishermen from all over the world were rewarded to make the biggest catch of plastic waste in order to sell it to recycling companies.

The more plastic they caught, the more money they made, and the cleaner the ocean became. To accomplish Corona's commitment about cleaning the ocean, we invited fishermen to participate in the first-ever plastic fishing tournament. During the events, Corona connected fishing communities with recycling companies so they could earn a second income by selling plastic all year round.

In each country where we replicated the championship, we contacted different recycling companies to be part of the initiative. By inviting them to the event, we put them in direct contact with the fishermen to make it a practice they could do every day. Recycling partners:

China: How Bottle

Brazil: Compell Soluções Ambientais

Mexico: Mexico Recicla

Israel: Tymco's

Colombia: Veolia

On June 8, 2021, Corona piloted its first Plastic Fishing Tournament in Sinaloa, Mexico, paying local anglers to go out to sea, not to catch fish, but to retrieve plastic waste. More than 100 local anglers participated and removed 3 tons of plastic from the ocean. Given the success of the initiative, the tournament went global:

Feb 21, 2022, Caraguatatuba, Brazil

Feb 26, 2022, Sisal, Mexico

March 7, 2022, China

March 10, 2022, Acre, Israel

April 6, 2022, Cartagena, Colombia

April 20, 2022, Gordon´s Bay, South Africa

So far, fishermen from all over the world have drawn more than 20 tons of plastic from the ocean. But most importantly, we connected hundreds of fishermen with recycling companies so, from now on, they can earn a second income by selling plastic all year round.

We changed the way of fishing: now fishermen have a second option when they go out to sea because not only do they profit from fish, but from plastic as well. This new way of fishing is easily scalable around the world. It is already working in Mexico, Israel, China, Colombia, Mexico, South Africa, and soon in more countries.

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