Since 2008, the Azulita Project has partnered with residents, NGOs and businesses to conduct plastic recapture efforts on more than 60 miles of Pacific Ocean shoreline in the Mexican state of Guerrero. Without easy access to free or affordable waste facilities, much of the community's used plastic ends up along roadways, burned, or discarded in open pits.
With the help of dedicated volunteers, Azulita team members collect waste from beaches and waterways, clean and bale the plastic, and prepare the plastic for transport to certified recycling plants or third-party buyers who transform the plastic into consumer goods.
The Azulita Project's recapture program has kept well over 500 tons (1,000,000 pounds), of plastic from polluting the Pacific Ocean since its inception in 2008.
The rural town of Los Llanos in the state of Guerrero is located approximately 23 miles north of the city of Zihuatanejo on the Pacific coast. It has a population of only 845, but is somewhat of a hub for several nearby mountain towns and beach communities.
The local economy is rooted in agriculture—primarily coconuts and mangos—and is supplemented by ocean fishing and tourism. Playa Saladita is a beach community about 2 miles from Los Llanos. Fishing plays an important role in this community, and its beautiful beaches offer top-class surfing.
In Los Llanos, the Azulita Project:
Incentivized buy-back of used plastics
Builds and maintains recycling bins throughout the community
Sorts and compresses plastic into bales
Sources to responsible third-party buyers
Educates and engages local youth
Encourages local businesses to be responsible about plastic use