Stopover in Lebanon 🇱🇧
- Stopover 1
- Zaitunay Bay
- from October 21 to November 2, 2022
This immersion takes place in a context of unprecedented economic crisis. Since August 4, 2020, the day of the explosion of the silos at the center of the city’s commercial port, the collapse of the country has not stopped. State services are almost non-existent, the economy is at a standstill, and citizens’ money is sealed. But the inhabitants have rolled up their sleeves. They have taken the reins of several essential subjects: energy, water, waste management…
Everyone has adapted and organized themselves. The sorting centers, destroyed by the explosion or at a standstill since the crisis that followed, are replaced by networks organized by women and men who collect, sort, and resell the material to earn money and rebuild their lives. We went to meet the inhabitants, young and old, of Beirut and the surrounding area to better understand how our solutions could be used on site.
Plastic Odyssey takes you to the heart of the plastic collection networks of the Lebanese capital, the first stopover of a 3-year expedition around the world....
The session #2 of the OnBoard Laboratory took place in Beirut, Lebanon. We welcomed 8 local plastic recycling entrepreneurs on board the ship for nearly ten days....
We met companies that collect, sort, and transform plastic waste into finished products.
awareness and education
We trained 50 teachers in our Ocean Code educational program and raised awareness among nearly 300 students on board the ship.
We welcomed a dozen local entrepreneurs to develop or accelerate their waste valorization project.
Our first stopover exceeded our expectations. With a lot of humility and a good dose of inspiration, we set sail again. The country is devastated, literally and figuratively: Beirut is in ruins following the port explosion, and the economic situation is critical. Nevertheless, the country is full of brilliant entrepreneurs who demonstrate great resilience and creativity to rebuild the country. We left with full heads of memories, memorable encounters, and numerous possible collaborations.
This first stop of the expedition also allowed us to question several elements of our approach to combating the plastic crisis. Firstly, the positioning of our recycling solutions, the Local Factories, which in a context of unprecedented economic crisis, prove relevant on three points: speed of deployment, accessibility, and profitability. We were also able to validate the format of the support we offer on board the ship, the Onboard Laboratory, in terms of content structure, the number of entrepreneurs welcomed at each stopover, and the duration of the sessions. The feedback has been very positive. Some entrepreneurs we met are ready to move on to the next step with the installation of micro-recycling factories to give value back to plastic waste.
Of course, this first step also highlighted the administrative complexities we could face during the expedition, hence the indispensable need to prepare the stopovers in advance.
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.