BVRio leads two beach cleaning actions removing nearly 2 tonnes of waste for World Oceans Day

Last Saturday, June 8, 2024, in celebration of World Oceans Day, BVRio led two beach cleaning actions in Guanabara Bay, Rio de Janeiro, resulting in the removal of 1,914.62 tons of waste from Ilha do Fundão and Ilha Seca, with the participation of 95 people. With support from the Fishing for Litter project, BVRio provided full logistics for both operations, ensuring their success.

The first action took place at Amendoeira Beach, Ilha do Fundão, carried out by two cooperatives of recyclable material collectors sponsored by Petrobras, COOPAMA and ACAMJG, with support from fishers involved in the Fishing for Litter project, backed by Ogyre. The event brought together 69 people, including volunteers, cooperative members, fishers, Petrobras and BVRio staff, who collected 1,845.89 tonnes of waste from the beach in only one hour of active cleaning. Simultaneously, on Ilha Seca, a group of scouts received support from fishers sponsored by Ocyan, with the participation of 26 people who removed 68.73 kg of litter.

Following the collection, the waste was sorted, weighed, and recorded using the KOLEKT solid waste management app, developed by BVRio. Recyclable materials were stored in big bags and taken to cooperatives for sorting, baling, and subsequent sale to recyclers.

The initiative also aimed to raise awareness about the importance of proper waste disposal and promote the circular economy in Rio de Janeiro, valuing recyclable materials collected by cooperatives. Discussions during the event focused on how sustainable waste management can positively impact marine environments and the role of collectors and cooperatives in promoting the circular economy in the country.

Since 2004, Coopama has been committed to sustainable development and environmental preservation, participating in beach and river cleaning events and joining projects such as Ecobarriers, in partnership with the Secretary of Environment and Sustainability (SEAS) and the State Environmental Institute (INEA). “We have been involved in setting up barriers to prevent floating waste from reaching Guanabara Bay, and on beaches such as Barra da Tijuca and Recreio dos Bandeirantes with recyclable materials. We believe that even the simplest actions can significantly impact environmental preservation, so we also promote environmental education to inform people about sustainable practices.” Luiz Carlos, president of Coopama.

“We at ACAMJG are the result of recognising the vital importance of environmental cleanliness. It’s not just about preserving the beauty of our communities but also ensuring public health and the sustainability of our planet. Every cleaning action we take removes waste and promotes awareness of the need to reduce, reuse, and recycle. We are committed to contributing to a cleaner and healthier future, and we thank everyone for their efforts.” Sebastião Santos, president of ACAMJG.

“We chose these locations because of the significant domestic waste there. In addition to contributing to the cleanup, this experience raised awareness among participants about correctly disposing of household waste to prevent it from ending up in places like beaches.” Pedro Succar, a circular economy expert at BVRio.

Volunteers had the opportunity to work alongside organisations committed to promoting the circular economy in Rio, ensuring that waste was treated properly, with some of it being sent for recycling and reintegrated into the production chain. “We had the experience of carrying out selective collection and learning how to preserve the environment, helping nature by doing our part.” Marcello Nunes Brandão, overseeing projects supported by Petrobras.