Mother nature is a force that unfortunately, cannot be stopped. As proof of that, the Riviera Maya has been suffering from sargassum. It has arrived in the beaches of the Yucatan Peninsula, including a few parts of Cancun, Playa del Carmen, and Tulum. The amount has been overwhelming.
But, why is Sargassum Affecting the Rivera Maya?
Although the reasons are not always clear, many researchers believe that it has a direct correlation with climate change. In this region of the world, high temperatures combined with low winds affect ocean currents.
However, some ingenious Mexicans took advantage of what may have seemed a bad situation. For instance, a Mexican entrepreneur has developed recyclable-organic tennis shoes. These are made from old plastic bottles adding seaweed. His name is Jorge Castro Ramos, and he has been developing ecological footwear for nine years.
Sustainable Shoes Made of Sargassum
It took almost five years of trial and error to make this patented Mexican fiber from plastic bottles. Recently, he started to make the soles out of sargassum, each sole would contain 100g of it, with five to eight plastic bottles for the water-resistant uppers. These are great news as hundreds of tons of sargassum have been arriving and threatening the fragile coral reefs and their ecosystem.
Mr. Castro admits the shoes can last up to two years, but owners can return them for recycling. Other uses for recycled plastic are; to make bags, t-shirts, leggings, and sportswear. Whereas, the sargassum will only be useful for the soles as it contains metals that might otherwise be harmful.
Spreading the word!
The business community in Quintana Roo thinks the eco-shoes could help boost the local economy and improve the environment. Some talks promote the use of these shoes for employees in the hotel sector, an environmentally-friendly application. Furthermore, a significant percentage of the profit is intended to clear up Mayan Riviera’s beaches.
Jorge Castro is not the first entrepreneur to try to put the seaweed for environmentally-friendly use:
A businessman has already built three houses out of sargassum and adobe bricks in the town of Puerto Morelos. He also plans to build a hotel with the bricks in Tulum to arouse the interest of local businesses for its use.
Uplifting news for the near future, it is possible to get a good start of what may seem a bad situation.