20 Nov 2018
Beirut, Lebanon
Resource efficiency and sustainable waste management

Single-use plastic water bottles contributed to a surprising amount of embarrassment in recent years for Lebanon, which has made global headlines with its ongoing “garbage crisis.” In 2015, the government closed a major landfill disposal site without an effective Plan B, causing rubbish to pile up around the tiny Middle Eastern country. For many, the final straw came this January when tonnes of waste — with discarded water bottles as a prominent feature — washed up on Lebanon’s once-pristine beaches.

Elyssa Skaff has responded to this untenable situation through the initiative H2go! The startup encourages Lebanese citizens to drink from reusable water bottles, which they can fill up at publicly accessible water stations. Skaff’s team hopes that H2go! will continue making a considerable dent in Lebanon’s daunting stack of garbage.

According to Skaff, she helped found H2go! because she “was fed up with the environmental situation in Lebanon, and the garbage crisis that [her] country was going through.” In particular, plastic bottles mount up around Lebanon because citizens do not have sufficient access to clean drinking water.

Skaff claims that Lebanon is near the head of the queue when it comes to churning through single-use water bottles, ranking as one of the world’s top 15 consumers per capita. This waste has led to unsightly environmental damage, an ugly situation compounded by Lebanon’s three-year garbage crisis. “The accumulation of waste, especially plastic, is now evident in our mountains, our rivers and the sea, endangering our ecosystem and our health,’ says Skaff.

H2go! aims to reduce mass consumption of single-use plastics by creating a network of sanitized water points in public places. Users can locate the stations and buy water there through the H2go! mobile app. H2go! has created trendy reusable bottles for our clients, adding an element of cool to sustainable water drinking habits.

Skaff adds that, before the SwitchMed Incubation Program, “H2go! was [just] an idea.” The training helped Skaff and her team develop H2go!’s mission and vision, define its target audience and develop a green business canvas.

“It is thanks to SwitchMed that I started to believe that H2go! was a promising idea that could actually come to life,” says Skaff.

 

Meet the team at H2go! here.

Photos courtesy of John Coleman and Simson Petrol, both on Unsplash

H2go! Resource Efficiency and Sustainable Waste Management
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