It is not uncommon during the summer rainy season for plastic bottles and other non-bio-degradable contaminants accumulated in nearby rivers to flush downstream and accumulate in local beaches. To help trap and contain all this trash, Puerto Vallarta’s Environmental Department has developed biobardas, floating traps created using recyclable materials, to prevent solid residues floating downriver from reaching the ocean. “We have operated 30 cleanup campaigns over the past six months and our efforts have been insufficient,” commented Helios Hernandez Hurtado from said dependency, and the person in charge of implementing the new floating traps, which are being positioned in the Rio Cuale and Pitillal Rivers.
Biobardas are created by placing thousands of capped, empty plastic soda bottles into 65 ft. long ‘netted’ pouches and deploying them at strategic spots along river streams in such a way that they capture debris floating downstream. The project is being co-developed with Bahia Unida, a local non-profit lanched in 2016 to focus on the protection of natural resources in Banderas Bay (bahiaunida.org). Pedro Ulloa, who directs the organization, commented that the use of biobardas originated in Central America, where they have been instrumental in decreasing ocean contamination. Although it may not seem necessary, project organizers ask the general public to respect the biobardas boundaries when they see them and to stop throwing contaminants in local rivers. • Tribuna de la Bahia