Billabong Girls Pro Itacaré Ranks Most Eco-Friendly Comp


Situated on one of the most idyllic beaches on the ASP Women’s World Tour, the Billabong Girls Pro Itacaré contest site, is not only of the most picturesque, but also the most eco-friendly in the world.

Boasting a globally unique design, developed by environmental NGO Yonic, in collaboration with Billabong and the Itacaré Town Council, the Billabong Girls Pro Itacaré contest site is made up mostly of recycled materials and one of the few such events, to leave no damage to the natural environment when the competition is over.

Comprised of recycled plastic bricks, coconut sheath paneling, abandoned wood (wood that is picked up off the floor) fencing, chairs and benches made from woven recycled newspaper and abandoned wood, as well as natural waterfall showers created from small forest streams, the event site is as much a paradise as the area itself.

“The sport of surfing is so much a part of nature that our objective at this event was to build a 100% ecological structure,” says project manager and co-founder of Yonic, Geraldine Belmont. “The idea was that the community would work together to build a structure that would benefit both the people of Itacaré as well as nature, leaving only good behind.”

Belmont has been working on this event for the past two years but is also heavily involved in finding solutions to trash in her hometown of Itacaré. According to Belmont, between 80 – 300 tons of trash is produced by the population of Itacaré daily, all of which would ordinarily be dumped in the rainforest.

“We decided on a handicraft solution to trash,” Belmont explained. “We encourage the community to use a hands-on approach to fighting waste, so that they will have the opportunity to build their skills, rather than an industrial solution which causes more pollution in the long run.” With a large factory outside the town, Yonic takes a non discriminatory approach to trash and believes that everything (expect hospital waste and batteries) can be recycled into consumable goods.

All of the trash created by the eight day Billabong Pro will be processed into a large trophy by the Yonic factory and auctioned off on the last day of the event. The proceeds of this auction will go back into purchasing basic foods stuffs for the impoverished community. The Billabong Girls Pro Itacaré is Stop No. 3 of 7 on the ASP Women’s World Tour. The competition needs two full days of surfing to be completed within the event’s eight day window period which runs from Aug. 20 – 27, 2007.


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