Stopover in Egypt 🇪🇬
- Stopover 2
- Port of Alexandria
- from November 6 to 25, 2022
Our stopover in Egypt takes place in a somewhat particular context. At the same time, 800 km away from where we are, in Sharm el-Sheikh, the COP27 of the United Nations on climate is taking place. All officials, journalists, entrepreneurs, associations… are traveling to the event, which does not facilitate the organization of the stopover.
But the search for solutions against plastic pollution cannot wait, and we are struck by the magnitude of the problem in the country as soon as we arrive! In Alexandria, Cairo, and the Nile Delta, plastic is everywhere! It has invaded the streets, fields, rivers, and ocean! Entrepreneurs and associations are mobilizing to collect, sort, and recycle the country’s plastic waste.
In Cairo, an entire community, the Zabbaleen, has organized itself to clean up and rid the city of the plastic scourge. In the Nile Delta, a laboratory farm has taken the bet of reducing the use of plastic by reviving agricultural techniques dating back to the Pharaonic era. In Alexandria, the Banlastic association is changing things by raising awareness among the population about the ravages of plastic pollution and advocating for a better system for collecting, sorting, and recycling waste, which until now was the responsibility of a poor minority in the country.
The third session of the OnBoard Laboratory took place in Alexandria, in English. We welcomed three local waste recycling entrepreneurs on board the ship....
From Alexandria to Cairo, passing through the villages of the Nile Delta, we went to meet recycling actors in Egypt.
awareness and education
We were fortunate to be able to present the Plastic Odyssey project to students at the Senghor University in Alexandria.
Despite administrative difficulties, we were able to welcome a few entrepreneurs on board the ship as part of the OnBoard Laboratory.
In contrast to the stopover in Lebanon where all the procedures had been relatively simple and where we had felt a real interest in the message we carry in the face of plastic pollution, we faced several problems in Egypt!
Between administrative complexities, timing, and language barriers… the organization of this stopover was not simple. Despite all the difficulties encountered, this second stage of the expedition was rich in lessons. It allowed us to highlight the importance of the local network to have a point of entry into the recycling industry and to put in place fallback solutions in case the Treasure Trunks cannot be unloaded from the ship.
This stopover also highlighted the awareness of some actors in the country to initiate or accelerate the deployment of viable waste valorization systems and move towards reducing the use of plastic.
On October 1st, 2022, about twenty explorers set sail from Marseille aboard the Plastic Odyssey ship for a 3-year expedition around the world. They are heading towards the coastal regions most affected by plastic pollution.