The World Economic Forum-backed initiative Global Plastic Action Partnership (GPAP) has estimated that 8 million tonnes of plastic waste leak into the world’s water resources each year.
The GPAP’s Annual Impact Report 2020 stressed the urgent need for collective action worldwide to create meaningful and sustainable change.
In its efforts to reduce the current trajectory, Etisalat Misr partnered with Bassita Social Enterprise within its Corporate Social Responsibility agenda to encourage the reduction of plastic leakage into the Nile River, putting forward transitioning towards a more circular economy for Egypt.
Co-founded in July 2018 by Egyptian startup Bassita, VeryNile is a community grown service that raises awareness of the importance of protecting and saving the environment.
The inauguration took place with the presence of Etisalat Misr’s CEO Hazem Metwally and Chief Corporate Affairs Officer Khaled Hegazy, with more than 20 employees and participants from VeryNile.
“Today we have learnt how little behaviors that we usually do can turn into big problems. Increasing waste disposal into the Nile pollutes our arteries of life. It requires awareness to change behavior, to consciously reduce plastic consumption and to actively promote responsible and sustainable solutions, working towards eradicating plastic pollution” said Hazem Metwally.
Recycling for Profit: The New Green Business Frontier
During the visit to Qursaya, a Nile island in Cairo, with their blue and green shirts, gloves, boots, and large trash bags, Etisalat Misr and VeryNile employees patrol the River Nile on boats to collect garbage and clean their immediate ecosystem. They transferred the un-organic waste to the recycling center, where the resident women on the island turn the plastic into reusable products, generating revenue through a marketplace provided by VeryNile.
“We’re very happy that there is an increase in the demand for recycled products. What you see as waste, we see as an opportunity” said one of the women at the recycling hub, supporting local artisanship.
Through the partnership between Etisalat and Bassita, VeryNile is helping marginalized communities in Egypt; garbage collectors, fishermen and the local residents including the women to get a profit margin while saving the environment at the same time.
In its efforts to enforce environmentally conscious consumerism, the employees participate in the renovation and the painting of fishermen boats. Additional medical caravans were provided to support the island’s local community and access to health services.
Channeling group efforts for a sustainable future
The visit is one of many future visits planned by Etisalat Misr in partnership with VeryNile; as part of the corporate engagement programme “Responsible Employee” building towards a sustainable future for all through promoting environmental consciousness, community engagement and eco-friendly solutions.