Providing social and environmental benefit this 'fishing for litter' initiative involves the fishers of Ilha do Governador, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, using cutting-edge technology and their traditional fishing boats.
About the project
After a successful trial in 2021, the second phase of this project to manage the removal of solid waste from Guanabara Bay in Rio de Janeiro, by local fishers, is now underway.
The project will see a team of fishers removing an estimated 100 tons of plastic waste from the bay in their traditional fishing boats, over a period of 12 months. The ‘catch’ is being registered and monitored through BVRio’s KOLEKT app, as part of the app’s field trials. The app uses images and GPS in order to verify the inputs of both the seller, the fishers, and the buyer, in this case, the waste cooperative Cooperecológica. The app’s web-based dashboard is used to track and administer all transactions.
News agency Reuters visited the fishers at the start of the project, to talk to them about this new type of work, and the impact of waste in the ocean on their catch.
“Before it was wonderful. From your front door you could catch plenty of shrimp and fish. Today, to catch fish you need to travel far. You need to buy gas for a boat…and it’s expensive.” Francinaldo Alves da Silva, Fisherman
23 fishers and 2 administrators benefit with additional wages
Each team will collect 2 tons per week, with a total target of 100 tons over 12 months
Multi-material recovery including different types of plastic, glass, fabric, electricals and tyres
Used first in the pilot phase of this project, the KOLEKT app is once again being used to register and monitor the ‘catch’. Undergoing field trials as part of this project, KOLEKT uses images and GPS in order to verify the inputs of both the seller – the fishers – and the buyer – local waste cooperative Cooperecológica.
The fishers keep track of the volume they were collecting by recording the material, sorted by type, into the app each day when they return. The material is then ‘advertised’ through the app and then sold to the local recycling cooperative. As part of the trial this arrangement has already been agreed, but when KOLEKT is fully rolled-out collectors will be able to advertise waste to an open market and sell to the highest bidder.
KOLEKT creates traceability of waste along the whole supply chain and then maps all stakeholders involved in the process. It records data in a format that allows for more efficient monitoring, validation, verification and certification of waste recovery and recycling against recognised standards. Materials are registered in the app by weight, type and condition, and the date and place of collection is recorded along with photographs, so that actors in the whole collection and recycling chain can see the materials on offer, or requested, near them.
Both the fishers and the cooperative are providing feedback into the app’s functionality as part of this trial.
Contact the team
Circular Action Director (Netherlands)
Circular Economy Specialist (Brazil)
Circular Economy Intern (Brazil)