Muscat – A group of young people called Gharsha, or “Bottle”, have started an initiative to support families in need while creating an environment free of plastic waste.
The group has mobilized the Muscat community to collect plastic waste, which is transported to a recycling plant and the proceeds of which go to the needy.
In May, the team launched the initiative in Muscat. Speaking to Muscat Daily, Gharsha member Kawthar Mujtaba al Lawati said the team, in cooperation with Recycling Services Company, collects plastic waste from individuals, institutions and charities in Muscat.
“The idea is to recycle plastic waste and transform it into a raw material that can be used by specialized companies,” she explained.
Kawthar added that the initiative aims to raise community awareness about recycling and reduce the risk of plastic waste on wildlife and marine life. “By selling recycled plastic waste, the team aims to support families in need with clothing, school supplies and more,” she said.
The volunteers collect the plastic bottles and notify the team via WhatsApp, who then transfer the waste to the recycling plant. “In August, we decided to establish plastic waste collection points in each wilayat of Muscat, from where the waste is transported to the factory every week.”
In three months, the team collected three tons of plastic waste. “We were pleasantly surprised by the awareness of the community and their efforts to contribute to this initiative. Some people designated an area of their home as a collection point, while others made suggestions that made the process easier. Since a percentage of the financial income goes to poor families, this humanitarian aspect has increased their enthusiasm.
As with any startup, the team manages financial challenges to continue the work they started. “Logistics is another issue we tackled initially, as providing a vehicle to collect and transport the waste was not easy. Recycling Services Company came to the rescue and provided us with a truck and driver to do the job,” Kawthar said.
About the group’s goals, she said: “The environment is our responsibility. The correct handling of plastic waste greatly contributes to its preservation. We will continue to spread environmental awareness and our voluntary work, which we hope in the near future to transform into institutional work. We also aspire to cooperate with companies and institutions in social responsibility and social investment projects and programs.
The group plans to spread the initiative to all governorates and involve other environmental teams and the community. “We aspire to establish our own recycling plant, contribute to the advancement of the country and support the directions of Oman Vision 2040,” Kawthar added.