Disrupting The Plastic Paradigm In Lebanon

If you’ve read The Carbon Almanac you know that a disappointingly small amount of plastic that is put in the recycling bin is actually recycled (around 8-9%). But one entrepreneur is disrupting this dismal statistic in a meaningful way – his name is Ziad Abichaker and he hails from Beirut, Lebanon.

You can meet Ziad Abichaker at 12:00 minutes into Mikael Colville-Andersen’s Life-Sized City episode on Beirut. Ziad also has a YouTube channel which has a mix of Arabic and English-language videos available. 

From September 2016 until the end of December 2023, the Beit Mery zero waste recycling facility he runs in Beit Mery, a town located in the hills overlooking Beirut, has processed 35,586 tons of municipal household waste. That includes about 512,000 kgs of plastic bags (https://www.linkedin.com/posts/ziad-abichaker-1a66326_composting-recycling-facility-activity-7150555115744047105-6IW7?). Much of the waste (78%) was compostable and was turned into 12,491 tons of compost. The bags were turned into ecoboards and granules. The ecoboards are unique to Cedar Environmental (Abichaker’s company) and can be used to replace wood or metal panels in construction.

Abichaker is justifiably proud of the fact that his facility sends no material to the landfill. He seems to continually be coming out with new products such as vertical boards that can be used to grow greens like lettuce. Or storm sewer grates made from recycled plastic (it seems metal ones were often being stolen because of the value of the metal). If you’re on Facebook search for his Facebook page – it’s inspiring to say the least.

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