Ekaruna - - Spotlight Item -

John Keats once said, “the po­etry of the earth is never dead.”

And, for Ziad Abichaker, a Beirut-based en­vi­ron­men­tal and in­dus­trial engi­neer and owner of Cedar En­vi­ron­men­tal, a com­pany spe­cial­is­ing in build­ing Mu­nic­i­pal Re­cy­cling Fa­cil­i­ties (MRF) for the re­cy­cling of solid waste, this couldn’t be any truer. How?

Well, sim­ply put, the lo­cal en­vi­ron­men­tal­ist brought about a novel re­cy­cling pro­ject, re­sus­ci­tat­ing an in­tri­cate type of artistry in­vented by the Phoeni­cians in the vicin­ity of the Mediter­ranean coast, the art of glass­blow­ing. The up­side? Well, apart from re­viv­ing a fan­tas­tic eastern Mediter­ranean trade, he has also pro­tected the coun­try’s last glass­blow­ing fam­ily – the Khal­ifes – from go­ing out of busi­ness, and re­cy­cled tons of used beer bot­tles. Pretty rad, don’t you think? For those of you who haven’t yet heard of GGRIL (Green Glass Re­cy­cling Ini­tia­tive Le­banon), here’s how the story goes. Dur­ing the July 2006 war, Le­banon’s only green glass man­u­fac­tur­ing com­pany – that used 50 per­cent re­cy­cled green glass in the pro­duc­tion process of its new bot­tles – was de­mol­ished, hence cre­at­ing a need for im­por­ta­tion and in turn, pos­ing a se­ri­ous prob­lem for Cedar En­vi­ron­men­tal, which was stock­ing the used bot­tles. In 2010, Abichaker be­gan forg­ing the idea of a green glass re­cy­cling pro­gram and a year later, af­ter se­cur­ing $25,000 in seed fund­ing from the New York-based non­profit Syn­er­gos and $1,500 worth of re­cy­cled paper­board from a lo­cal pa­per man­u­fac­turer, GGRIL was born. A long lost tra­di­tion lives on and makes way for a new era of sus­tain­able de­sign and green think­ing. We heart it.

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