6 MENA Startups Transforming Trash to Treasure

Published January 17th, 2021 - 04:00 GMT
6 MENA Startups Transforming Trash to Treasure
More and more start ups are actually turning to waste for inspiration to create new products. (Shutterstock: Alrandir)

Even though the world has been quite busy combating a health emergency for more than a year now, millions of people worldwide continue to focus their energy and ideas on clearing out piles of unwanted and broken items instead of turning them into real pieces of either practical use or aesthetic value.

Yet, many startups from different countries across the Middle East and North Africa have devoted their time and efforts to turn junk into a source of living, including waste resulting from unfortunate events such as explosions and wars.

Investing little to no money, recycling enthusiasts have been collecting numerous amounts of dumped clutter, polishing it, and providing the markets with new products to generate profit.

In this article, we will explore a number of the most innovative MENA start-ups that are amongst recycling champions and take a look at their work.

According to EcoMENA, more than 150 million tonnes of urban waste is collected every year from our region. 

1. Zap Idea - Lebanon


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Furniture pieces, walling, and flooring, in addition to decorative items have all been crafted using piles of waste through recycling at the hands of Zap Idea start-up, which aims to promote a green lifestyle.

2. FabricAID - Lebanon

Hoping to reduce fabric waste, the Lebanese start-up collects unwanted clothes and sorts them out into a wearable condition before selling them to disadvantaged communities at micro prices, thus serving two causes, supporting the poor and help keep the environment clean.

3. IDYR - Morocco

The Casablanca-based start-up founded by Fadwa Moussaif goes after textile waste across Morocco and cooperates with village women,who have mastered the Boucherouite art to turn waste into brand new pieces.

4. RecycloBekia - Egypt

This start-up is amongst the first in the MENA region that are dedicated to recycling electronic waste, taking advantage of the millions of tonnes of waste produced by his 100 million fellow citizens across Egypt.

5. Hunaya - Jordan

Nour Nsheiwat from Jordan has found inspiration in the little pieces people throw out thinking they will not need anymore; She turns them into tasteful pieces of furniture, while making her contribution to maintaining the ecosystem.

6. GGRIL - Lebanon

The initiative started in the wake of the 2006 Israeli war on Lebanon, during which airstrikes destroyed the country's only green glass manufacturing plant which had previously served the beverage industry. 

By June 2018, GGRIL or The Green Glass Recycling Initiative had "diverted the equivalent of 1 Million beer Bottles from ending up in our Landfills." The start-up's revenue has been dedicated to providing more work for the glass blowing artisans.

Do you know any other initiatives or start-ups that are dedicated to recovering disposed items in the region? What other ideas can they come up with to both clean the environment and make a profit?

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