Most of the plastic that ends up in the oceans flows first through major rivers. Recent research has found that 10 rivers make up 90% of this source of ocean plastic – one of which is the longest river in Africa, the Nile.
Mohammed Hamdy is the founder of Go Clean, a new personalised recycling initiative in Cairo that aims to stop Egyptians from adding any more plastic waste to the river.
Go Clean customers sort through their recyclables at home then contact the company by phone or by Whatsapp. A driver turns up to collect the items, rewarding users either with cash, based on the weight of the recycled items, or one of a selection of high-end household items in exchange.
Although in its early stages, the company has proved popular with the public and the international community, with Go Clean claiming to have recently won an environmental initiative award from the European Union.
Speaking to Egyptian Streets, Hamdy explained that he was motivated to set up the initiative after seeing the level of plastic pollution in the ocean. “I had the idea of encouraging people in Egypt to start recycling because it’s a good everyday habit, but in Egypt, throwing things out of the window of the car or throwing things in the street is a bad [existing] everyday habit,” he said. “So, I came up with the idea of giving people an incentive to have them change their minds about throwing recyclables; they can actually exchange it for money and thus, we get to save the planet.”
The Philosophy graduate from the American University in Cairo has plans to expand Go Clean into Alexandria.Tags: Egypt, Go Clean, plastic pollution, recycling