NERRA Board Members Talk Plastics in Mexico City
NERRA president Jace Tunnell and vice president Kristen Goodrich presented at a workshop in Mexico City about their efforts to expand plastics work in the country.
Hosted by the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) and Mexico Secretaria de Medio Ambiente y Recursos Naturales (SEMARNAT), the meeting assembled 80 researchers and agency leads to talk about their work around plastic research in Canada, the United States, and Mexico.
Tunnell presented on Nurdle Patrol, which received grant funding in 2021 to expand into Mexico. Goodrich discussed the Tijuana River Reserve’s efforts to capture plastics before reaching the ocean and their work with communities in Mexico to help solve the problem, referred to as Proyecto ResiDUOS or the DUOS project. They discussed challenges, successes, data gaps they hope to fill, and new partnerships to expand the work.
Tunnell and Goodrich connected with researchers in Baja California, Oaxaca, the Yucatán Peninsula, and key areas along the Mexico-United States border. They also toured a PET plastics recycling facility, PETStar, where they saw first-hand how discarded products are brought in, sorted, cleaned, shredded, and made into nurdles to manufacture new products. The two-day event was a great opportunity to make connections, build relationships in Mexico, identify new possibilities, and take action on new information about plastics entering sensitive areas.
Thanks to the funding from the USTR, SEMARNAT, and the NOAA Marine Debris Program for making this effort possible!