With a view to promoting more sustainable fish farming practices in the communities around the middle of the Tropitas River, in West Barra, in the municipality of Oriximina, in West Barra, the Fish Farming Support Project Team, from Mineração Rio do Norte (MRN), sought to find a way to add value And reduce costs in building tanks, using PET (polyethylene terephthalate) bottles that residents throw away.
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According to the miner, to create each tank, an average of 500 to 1,000 units is needed, depending on the structure of the nursery.
A sustainable way to make the tanks float is to replace the drums – equipment that helps stabilize the structure – with 2-liter PET bottles, an easily accessible and low-cost material, which is collected during solids collection in the Porto Trombitas region.
In addition to raising community awareness about bottle reuse and promoting environmental education about proper waste disposal, training is conducted to teach them how to use bottles safely in tank manufacturing. For this, the team invested in research in partnership with the regional university to improve these constructions,” explained Jenilda Cunha, Program Coordinator for Social and Environmental Education (PES) at MRN.
The technical team of the Environmental Physiology Research Group (GPFA), from the Federal University of Western Barra (UFOPA), has also developed equipment with reusable materials – using a bike frame inner tube and an air pump – to fill PET bottles, thus giving the tanks greater capacity to float.
“Using the bottles in a common way, just closing them with the cap, will not withstand the pressure of the water, and this will make them lose the support of the tanks over time. We improved the bottles with compressed air to make them stronger. The result was to produce a more stable tank with duration,” said Miguel Canto, aquaculture technician at Yufuba. Longer, with an estimated use of up to ten years.
MRN and Ufopa improve technology to help community members – Photo: MRN / Disclosure
For residents of the Bacabal community, Maria Mota, better known as “Zuma”, the idea of replacing bonbons with bottles is more economical and safer for fish farmers. “Previously, we always had to change the bottles between three and five, or even less. The tanks also sank and we had to look for materials to build new tanks. Now, the miner is bringing the bottles and putting them in the tank, it is sure to work and last longer floats in the water, in addition to being safer,” the fish farmer said.
Francesca Gomez, of the Acapuzinho community, known as “Grandma Chacoenha,” sees the project as a way to take care of the environment.
“I’ve been in fish farming for ten years and when the team comes into the community it’s fun because it’s collaborating with improving our production. This time, using bottles. Many people throw away the bottles, sometimes incorrectly, polluting the environment. Through these The idea, it is beneficial to society, moreover, it reduces our costs. It is very good to donate the bottles and with the help of their technology combined with our experience, we can share knowledge”, stated Francesca.
Investing heavily in managing the waste generated in its operations is part of the MRN’s culture, as well as in social actions to encourage environmental education and sustainability in schools and communities. According to Nivaldo Silva, an environmental analyst at MRN, the company operates in an integrated way between different regions and with residents.
Donating PET Bottles to Communities – Photo: MRN / Disclosure
“We make sure everyone is made aware of the correct way to dispose of waste, from separation to forms of cleaning. In the case of bottle disposal, the residents of the Porto Trombetas neighborhood make this delivery correctly, helping to sort the materials before they are sent to the communities. Residents are an integral part of this process “, He said.
According to the environmental analyst, on average, nine thousand bottles are collected per month through the Waste Treatment Center (CTR), in Porto Trombitas. About 50% of the total bottles are donated to communities, and the rest is sent to recycling companies, transferring other value chains. The waste management team does this collection and sorting.
Janelda Cunha adds that with the replacement of 50-liter plastic bottles for 2-liter PET bottles, about 35,000 R$ will be saved that will be redirected to social projects according to conditions in the communities.
“If we were to evaluate the costs of packaging, we see significant savings and a change in values in terms of reuse and taking care of the environment. The bottles are reused and there is no additional cost to obtain them as they are collected with other waste and only sorting is required,” he noted.
Fish farming support project
Fish farming is one of the branches of aquaculture that develops fish farming. This type of education has grown a lot in recent years in the communities and drives an important part of the region’s economy.
Fish tanks in Dona Zuma – Photo: MRN / Disclosure
The Fish Farming Support Project includes the communities of Tarumã, Jacuraru, Bacabal and Acapuzinho and is one of several measures to promote education and support income generation, which are part of the MRN’s Social and Environmental Breeding (PES) programme.
The program promotes environmental sustainability in the areas in which the company operates, and contributes to promoting improvements in the daily lives of communities, by meeting the requirements of the Brazilian Institute for the Environment and Renewable Natural Resources (IBAMA).