As Qatar reaffirms its commitment to fight global warming by ratifying the Paris climate accord, a Qatari private company is striving to raise public awareness and educate children on the importance of recycling.
Elite Paper Recycling, the largest paper factory in Qatar which is located at the New Industrial Area, has been visiting various schools in Doha to teach students how to segregate recyclable waste at source.
“When you teach children about recycling, they will continue doing it for the rest of their lives,” Elite vice-president Abdulla Ibrahim al-Suwaidi told Gulf Times on the sidelines of the launch of the French embassy’s recycling initiative recently.
The company collects more than 3,000 tonnes of paper and cardboard from various supermarkets, hypermarkets, and schools in Qatar every month. It provides students a factory tour to witness its operations.
Al-Suwaidi said he was confident that by seeing actual recycling work, the next generation “will love the idea” and become responsible citizens who will help protect the environment.
When segregation at source and recycling become a habit, the country will save a significant amount of energy and money, and this will help reduce greenhouse gas emissions, he said.
Such a green initiative will also substantially reduce the number of trees being cut to produce paper. Elite uses its social media platform, mobile application, and website to educate the public, posting articles and videos about eco-friendly practices.
Elite’s director Amr Rageh said it has placed some 1,000 recycling cages across Qatar to collect paper and cardboard. He noted that the company handles around 70% of the 4,000 tonnes of paper and cardboard thrown away in the country.
The company hopes to lift the remaining 30% soon, which usually goes to landfills.
“This is what we are working on, to get the other 30% which is thrown out. That is why we go to schools and other institutions to take every single paper from them to reach that remaining 30%,” Rageh noted.
“Our plan is to make sure we reduce the amount of paper and cardboard boxes that are wasted and sent to the landfills.”
Elite is planning to recycle all kinds of recyclable materials in Qatar apart from paper and cardboard.
“In a couple of years, we will start one project at a time, taking plywood, plastic, can, and rubber, etc, so it will be one by one,” the director said.
“We are planning for a smarter and greener Qatar, our vision is to be an effective establishment that builds and strengthens public awareness, environmental protection, innovation and advanced technology to support the economic, social and environmental development of Qatar,” the director stressed.