‘Glass Beach’ proposed in Mazatlan; complicated but viable challenge

The Center for Food Research and Development works on the ecological proposal that would become an attraction of the port

The beaches found in Cerritos are the most suitable for a crystal beach, for its constant waves Photos: Rolando Salazar

Mazatlan, Sin. – The idea of ​​creating an artificial glass or crystal beach in Mazatlan is not as far-fetched as it seems, on the contrary, it would counteract the erosion that already affects several stretches of beach and solve the problem of pollution generated by glass, as part of solid waste that arrives at the open landfill of the municipality and that adds an average of 21 tons per day.

The challenge is to find a way to make this environmental project economical and viable for the port.

Currently, dozens of beaches in the world that were used as landfills for unwanted industrial waste, today are considered as wonderful places for their show of bright colors.

And it is that the force of nature, with the consistent movement of the waves that for years sculpted and rounded the sharp glass, turned them into colored gems appreciated today by collectors, craftsmen, photographers, and tourists.

This is how the famous glass beaches in the world like Davenport, Summerland and Fort Bragg, in California; Hanapepe, in Hawaii; Steklyashka, Russia; Chemical and North Seaham, in England; Bigaral in Luanco, Spain, among others.

This phenomenon has inspired specialists to propose the regeneration of beaches affected by erosion with sand made with recycled pulverized glass, which would be as fine as the sand it replaces.

It is to take advantage of part of the solid waste to convert it through a crushing process in silica sand, from which the glass is made.

On each day of beach cleaning, you can collect up to 1 ton of glass. 


In Mazatlan, the project is still in suspense, despite generating sympathies between locals and tourists who welcome the ecological proposal, to counteract the pollution generated by glass.

While CIAD researchers work on it and the director of the Operator and Administrator of Beaches, Rogelio Olivas Osuna, says that it would be an attraction for the port and that it could be achieved with the support of society; the director of Ecology and the Municipal Environment, María de Lourdes San Juan, sees it complicated and unfeasible due to the permits it would require and its high cost.

This arises as a result of the serious problem of the generation of glass in the port and the absence of collection centers for its collection.

The biologist of the Center for Food and Development Research, Eunice Murúa Figueroa, said that the original idea arose in the cleaning actions carried out on the beaches of Mazatlan, where they get to collect up to one or two glass sacks per beach and Up to one ton per cleaning campaign.

It was there that the question was asked of what was going to be with so much glass, since in the region there are no collection centers, and the creation of a glass beach in the port of Mazatlan was proposed, as a solution to the problem of accumulation of this material, which is not profitable to sell for its cost-benefit ratio. If the project is completed, this would be the first crystal beach in Mexico.

Murúa Figueroa argues that the project is viable since it only requires a glass crusher that has a price of approximately 100 thousand pesos in the market, as well as the collaboration of society through a network of links with citizens to Participate in recycling from home, public places and work centers.

If the project is completed, Mazatlan would be the first sun and beach destination in Mexico that would have a crystal beach.

As for federal procedures for environmental impact, he added that glass does not contaminate because it is an inert material, and what would be done is to pulverize it like sand and leave it in its original state, because it is made of sand.

For Lourdes San Juan, the proposal requires further study to see if it is environmental and viable.

This project was proposed at a working table with the CIAD, but we see some problems, a glass beach is a beach where the deposit of bottles and glass is done on purpose and for many years the sea is allowed to do what own. It is a problem because this has to be done a project very seriously with the permission of all the authorities and, well, we really see it complicated.

Lourdes San Juan

He commented that glass beaches have appeared due to the abandonment of glass material on public beaches for generations, in the case of the CIAD project it is intended to do so on purpose, which is quite difficult.

The proposal under analysis includes beaches of Cerritos, where insistent waves would help a lot in the formation of the crystal once the crushed glass powder is deposited there.

“We did not see this possibility of crystal beaches very viable,” said the head of Ecology in the municipality.


Monica Osuna, who was born in Mazatlan, but currently resides in Tijuana, considered that the project of a glass beach in Ceritos is a good idea to attract more tourism, in addition to helping the environment.

She said she agreed, and that she would support as a citizen every time she comes to Mazatlan.

Arturo Estrada Rodríguez, a table and chair rental worker in Cerritos, said that everything that is recycled is welcome, from plastic to glass.

From the outset, he described the proposal as positive: “It would be something father to be able to do, as long as it does not affect the environment, the sand and the turtles that come to spawn, which brings benefit.”

Up to 21 tons of glass a day generated by the city, which could be used to complete the project of a crystal beach in Mazatlan

I think it’s very good because it would help the environment, I think that yes I would support all the people here and foreign people like us too, it would be an attraction to Mazatlan.

José Antonio Valverde, from Guadalajara

Edgard Salvador, from Durango, spoke in favor of the project and said he was willing to support as many times as he returned to this port, contributing his grain of sand.

Ana Luisa and Yolanda Fajardo, from Mar de Cortés, said that, although they do not know the project, they agree with all the actions to protect the environment, so they would support with the collection of glass and as much as possible they would participate as Citizens


Lourdes San Juan recognizes that Mazatlan does not have any glass warehouses or collection centers; the one that is collected will give to the municipal bason, to open sky.

Of the 700 tons of solid waste that is collected in the city on a daily average, 3% is glass, that is 21 tons, of which 7.21 tons is colored glass and 13.79 transparent.

The director of Ecology said there is a business association that collects glass for recycling, but in small proportions.

A company that does us the favor of going to deposit the bottles of different color, the only thing that asks you is to be clean and grouped by colors, since the company that takes care of the collection pays you different price according to the color and the type of bottle in question.

Ecology Director

In California, there is a crystal beach that attracts millions of tourists every year.

He noted that one of the main problems that the municipality has in ecological matters, are the clandestine glass dumps, but due to lack of staff and time, the company that makes this large accumulation of glass has not been investigated.

“Apparently they are tons of glass deposited in a place that should not, is an issue that we have to see and denounce the Profepa,” he said.

On the other hand, he added, there are certain glasses that have to be handled in a special way, all of which are from the windows.

In the case of household waste, the population is not careful to deposit the glass properly, which will not cause an accident with the workers who collect the garbage.

“Also the cooling and brewing companies they must have as a special residue a destination for such bottles,” he concluded.

Resultado de imagen para glass beach


Of 700 tons of garbage collected daily in Mazatlan, 3% is glass.

21 tons of glass on average daily generates the city of Mazatlan, which will stop at the municipal dump.

7.21 tons of colored glass generates the city per day, which represents 1.03% of the garbage that will be given to the dump.

13.79 tons of transparent glass are collected daily at the port, which represents 1.97% of the daily trash.

1 ton of glass is collected on the beaches of Mazatlan on each day of cleaning and cleaning, according to CIAD data.

Source: el sol de mazatlan

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