The power of plastic

A project of Barceloneta Proa en el Mar.

La Barceloneta and its narrow streets have long been the cradle of the city’s best sailors and fishermen. The neighbourhood’s flag carries the sea in its heart and generation after generation has maintained the passion for the sea in water-related trades. MB92 is one of many sea-related businesses that build the professional network of La Barceloneta. It is this spirit that drives Barceloneta Proa en el Mar, a local initiative aimed at reusing materials such as plastic protections applied during refit and refurbishment work, as well as offering opportunities for the local community to learn new skills that they can apply in the job market. Esther Zamora, the coordinator of the initiative and neighbour of Barceloneta, explained that Barceloneta Proa al Mar (Barceloneta Community Plan) is a local socioeconomic development project that was born in 2013 driven from the neighbourhood and community base, and works within the parameters of the social economy around three axes: employment, training and local economy, all with the sea as the identity and backbone of the project. The process of giving these materials a second life begins with an on-site selection process at MB92 Barcelona, where the used cardplast protective sheets are classified according to their exposure to materials such as paint or other abrasives, which will determine whether the material can be reused in another refit project, whether it will be sent to the Proa al Mar workshop or whether it should be disposed of. According to MB92 policy, cardplast is reused in refurbishment projects whenever possible. Much of the material intended to protect low-traffic areas or that has not been exposed to harmful material has the potential for reuse and together with suppliers Nautiel and Uniservice, a sorting system has been put in place to ensure efficiency while reducing waste.

Marc Hervás, Sustainability Coordinator at MB92 Group comments, “Initiatives like this one, play an important role within our local community and are fantastic examples of the potential available through sustainability.” All the material sent to Barceloneta Proa al Mar is set aside and undergoes a treatment and cleaning process before arriving at the workshop. Once on-site, skilled manual labour is used to produce a range of new life items including backpacks, beach bags, and tote bags under the brand name Takatà (, named after a local game in Barceloneta. “One of our main areas of focus is to continually improve our performance in the circular economy, so initiatives like this, which also plays such an important role in our local community, are fantastic examples of the potential available through sustainability. We can’t wait to see how it develops.

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