17 May 2018
Jerusalem, Palestine
Resource efficiency and sustainable waste management

Upcycling paper is not a novelty, but one must start somewhere. For the siblings Wael and Weam Bader, Palestinian siblings, that somewhere is the manufacture of egg trays from recycled paper waste.

Together with his sister Weam, they are working to improve the rural landscape they live in and provide solutions to both consumers and farmers.

Wael and Weam live in Beit Duqqu, Palestine. In this Jerusalem suburb, the beautiful greenery is marred by the sights of trash heaps being burned, as no waste treatment alternatives exist. In supermarkets, hospitals, newspapers, and private homes, no one recycles. Wael and Weam estimate that in Bei Duqqu alone, 2 tons of paper and carton waste are daily produced. Then they figured making carton trays is the solution.

The Baders were very much aware of the important presence of poultry farms in the Jerusalem suburbs (around 520,000 farms), so they quickly identified the farmers’ basic but crucial need: egg trays adapted to the three egg sizes they produce. The issue stemmed from the availability of only one tray size, from the only manufacturer in the region. The other two sizes are bought second-hand from Israeli vendors, which isn’t always the most sanitary solution. The inadequate products add up to one ton of egg trays daily, which would be replaced by the Baders’ recycled trays.

With their project, the Baders will provide the missing link in the chain, transforming waste into resources. Keeping in mind the 30% unemployment rate in Palestine, the pair are concerned with boosting the economic activity in the region. The cycle they will create will generate new jobs, and help soak up the deficiency in manufacturing activities. At least five jobs will be created during the first year and up to 20 more during the first five years by expanding their activities. Moreover, collecting the paper waste to recycle it will avoid the emission of 2 tons of CO2 daily generated by its combustion. Their project is also the first rock in a snowballing phenomenon, pulling with it improvements on the environment, health, social, and economic standards in the community and the region.

“We decided to become green entrepreneurs to change the mentality of our fellow citizens so that we are all held accountable for our actions [on the environment],” Wael adds.

SwitchMed is coaching the siblings through a local mentor to boost the green idea by completing and executing their thorough green business plan. In the future, the siblings will also try to create fruit and vegetable trays from unwanted paper.

 

For more information, check Wael’s Linkedin profile.

The article was originally published on the SwitchMed website.

The Missing Link Resource Efficiency & Sustainable Waste Management
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