Over 100 fishermen headed out to sea off Cape Town recently to reel in plastic.

The tournament and the impact of marine plastic pollution on Cape fishing communities were captured in the film, made by Corona Studios, which was released on YouTube.

The South African tournament is the African leg of similar Corona Plastic Fishing tournaments, which have taken place in:
  • Mexico
  • China
  • Brazil, and
  • Israel. 
The tournament is where local fisherpeople compete to remove plastic debris from the ocean. They then returned their catches to plastic recycling centres and received compensation for their work.

Corona says that the initiative builds on its longstanding commitment to cleaner oceans by raising awareness of the plastic crisis and finding ways to expand protection and preservation efforts from the beaches to the sea.

Globally, Corona was joined by various other countries in marking World Oceans Day recently with awareness-driven beach installations made from retrieved plastic, spelling out the message 'Imagine a World Free of Plastic' in their local languages.

According to the World Economic Forum, current figures on marine plastic pollution are alarming. With up to eight million metric tons of plastic — two garbage trucks worth every minute — ending up in the oceans daily, says the forum.

The forum adds that it is estimated that by 2050 there will be more plastic than fish in the sea, impacting the livelihood of fisher people. To make matters worse, the amount of plastic trash that flows into the oceans every year is expected to triple by 2040.

In South Africa alone, 250 000 tons of plastic enter the country's rivers and end up on the coastline annually.

"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 every day," says Kegan Mattheys, director of the Fishing Republic, who collaborated with Corona on the Plastic Fishing Tournament.

The plastic retrieved from False Bay and Hout Bay will be recycled 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," says Melanie Nicholson, marketing manager at Corona. 

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," concludes Nicholson. 

For more information, visit www.coronaafrica.com. You can also follow Corona on Facebook, Twitter or on Instagram.