Collaborative Initiative to Transform Egypt’s Recycling Landscape

women on streets of egypt collecting and sorting plastic trash

(Credit: SIG)

by | Mar 27, 2024

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Social enterprise Plastic Bank and Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH have partnered with SIG to transform Egypt’s recycling landscape. The project aims to address the shortcomings in Egypt’s waste management system, where only a fraction of the annual waste is appropriately handled.

Founded in 1853, SIG is known for its packaging solutions prioritizing sustainability and environmental responsibility. Plastic Bank, operating in multiple countries, including Egypt, aims to eliminate waste by utilizing plastic as currency and facilitating traceable waste collection through its blockchain-secured platform. It provides individuals and communities with income opportunities and social benefits while promoting a circular economy and supporting local communities. With more than 50 years of experience, GIZ offers economic promotion, energy, environment, and peacekeeping expertise. Collaborating with governments, international organizations, and the private sector worldwide.

Over three years, the alliance plans to collect 1,543,235 lbs. of beverage cartons through a blockchain-powered platform. The PlasticBank® app enables collectors to record their contributions, earning revenue from waste collection while gaining access to various social benefits such as health insurance, digital connectivity, and educational support.

This initiative extends beyond waste collection and recycling, aiming to establish an extended producer responsibility (EPR) model in Egypt. By collaborating with the Egyptian Waste Management Regulatory Authority, the project seeks to integrate recycling into the country’s legislative framework, emphasizing the role of packaging manufacturers in environmental conservation.

Abdelghany Eladib, SIG’s General Manager for India, the Middle East, and Africa, highlights the partnership’s significance in advancing towards a circular economy. “Our new partnership goes one step further in accelerating our progress towards a circular economy. Extending social waste collection and recycling programs like this one in Egypt will help to achieve our goals and is a blueprint for future programs. By establishing a recycling system for beverage cartons in the Greater Cairo area and beyond, SIG is focused on reducing the environmental impact and creating a market for recycled paper.”

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