More than 100 tons of garbage removed from Mexican rivers and oceans

Mexico took part in the #GlobalCleanUpRelay movement last month, cleaning more than 100 tons of garbage

More than 100 tons of garbage removed from Mexican rivers and oceans
Mexico City was one of the cities with the largest impact, along with Puebla, Monterrey, and Zihuatanejo - Photo: Taken from Limpiemos.mx's official Facebook page
English 03/04/2019 13:56 Isela Hinojoza Mexico City Actualizada 13:57
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With more than 100 tons of garbage removed from rivers and other water bodies in Mexico, the #GlobalCleanUpRelay movement achieved its goal on its first day, operating in 27 states of the country.

The social movement undertook a cleaning of rivers and oceans worldwide, promoted by the Mexican association Ríos Limpios (Clean Rivers). Through social media, they made a call to action in 35 countries in all five continents.

Eduardo Negrete, president of Ríos Limpios, explained that 80 environmental initiatives in different states had participated in the global effort, including members of civil society, associations, and authorities who gathered around 3,500 volunteers to remove garbage from water bodies.

Equipped with sacks and a very positive attitude, a group of Mexican volunteers started the cleaning of rivers in Mexico City on March 23.

According to data from Ríos Limpios, a group of more than 800 volunteers managed to remove 25 tons of garbage from rivers and lakes in Mexico City, making it one of the cities with the largest impact, along with Puebla, Monterrey, and Zihuatanejo.

This marked #GlobalCleanUpRelay’s first collective activity of the year, though the social movement intends to conduct global cleaning activities at each change of season, meaning that there will be three more activities in 2019.

Some of the countries that participated in the global movement were China, Costa Rica, Brazil, Canada, Argentina, France, and Sweden, to name a few. The activity began in Australia, and moved along timezones to end in Vancouver, Canada.

Plastic: The crisis of tomorrow

Eduardo Negrete pointed out that the #GlobalCleanUpRelay aimed to “raise awareness among society in general of the need to change consumption habits since single-use plastics are the most polluting to water bodies.”

This according to his three year experience in leading brigades to remove garbage in different rivers.

He stressed that Mexico currently produces 86,343 tons of garbage every day, out of which 30% is made of plastic.

According to the Ministry of the Environment and Natural Resources (SEMARNAT), Mexico produces 9 billion PET bottles a year and only 20% of said amount is recycled. The rest usually ends up in oceans, either floating away or washing up in shores. In the worst of cases, plastic ends up in the stomach of several marine species and birds.

“Our country is the second largest PET consumer in the world, and the main consumer of bottled water. We only have 12 years to change our consumption habits regarding plastic and ensure our survival as a species,” Negrete concluded, adding that he would continue to clean up rivers until there was no need to do so.
 

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