Recycle Lebanon… More than a Revolution
Narimna & Joslin

Recycle Lebanon… More than a Revolution

(Last Updated On: January 15, 2020)

There are many who talk,
yet few who take action.

Joslin Kehdy was among the few who actually took action. 

I remember meeting her in 2015 when I was a volunteer.

Back then she had founded Recycle Lebanon, a social change and inclusive environmental hub in the wake of the waste crises. This came as a response to the public’s “inability to take action”.

At that time, she was organizing beach clean ups,. I met her again after the opening of Ecosouk, and found out that there is more to Recycle Lebanon than meets the eye.

First off, it’s not only about #balaplastic

Yes you’ve probably heard of the #balapastic movement, and maybe you’ve taken part in  #SaveOurFace campaign . However, Recycle Lebanon stands for much more than the  #balapastic  movement. 

The Four Programs

In fact,  it comprises of four programs: Dive into Action Roots Academia, Regenerate Lebanon & Ecosouk.

  • Dive into Action : the program which inspires people to shift behaviors and perceptions about environmental issues by engaging citizens in organized clean ups, wokshops, campaigns, advocacy and preventative measures.
  • Roots Academia  : the lifetime environmental science, arts, wellness programmes  that inspire youthled innovation.
  • Regenerate Lebanon  : the open source social change & environmental management platform which maps out all stakeholders, resources & incentives that facilitate joint collective actions and solutions. 
  • Ecosouk  :   the Middle East’s first Zero waste shop, is not simply a  “trendy” eco-friendly shop. Its aim goes further, as Kehdy says:

    “Everything here has a story…, Everything here is handmade, and local….
    I want to offer the Lebanese community a hub that demonstrates the circular economy. You can come here, drop off your waste, and we would than give it to a producer to create something out of it.  We also offer you a free tree, so that  you re-think your consumption. We want you to stop and think why you’re consuming…” Joslin Kehdy

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Transition with green and #baladialternatives at the #ecosouk #balaplastic. 🥃The last plastic straw a futile example of our consumption models designed to waste. 🌱Human induced climate change is linning us up for #systemchange. The air is filled with nano plastic particles and fast fashion has jumped on the conscious but greenwashed movement with recovered ocean plastic in clothing, speeding up the damage. With each plastic straw, tossed cigarette, microplastic bead in toothpaste and face scrubs, our consumption to production model is making its way back on our plates. #breakfreefromplastic #packagingdesign #ecodesign #circulareconomy #circularhub #siponchange

A post shared by EcoSouk #CircularHub (@ecosouk) on

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#Repost from @rosycheeksoaps with @regram.app … You know you’re doing something right👍🏻 when your clients😍 send back empty glass jars and containers for recycling/reuse ♻️ we only use glass 🍃because we want to minimize the use of plastics💚 especially in the skincare market 🌿 #chemicalfree #organicskincare #naturalremedies #earthfriendlyproducts #earthfriendlypackaging #dontpanicitsorganic #allnatural #balaplastic #handmadeslebanon #plasticfree

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The Vision

The vision goes beyond workshops, and beach clean ups.
The vision is to create a circular hub.

“What I aim for is a full circular hub, which will include food and beverage,  a makerspace, urban permaculture, workshops, performance and healing arts… It’s important for me that it’s as off grade as possible and built by the community. It’s also important to have a model against incineration. ” Joslin Kehdy

The “Circular Hub”, as Joslin  calls it, is a play on the Arabic word “hub” and the concept of the circular economy. The circular economy by definition aims to design out waste.  In a circular economy, waste does not exist, instead products are designed and optimized for a cycle of dissassembly and reuse. 

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It’s only one straw” said 8 billion people. Introducing the pasta straw. 100% biodegradable for your guilt free drinking pleasure. Plastic no more! #Repost from @barrio67.batroun with @regram.app … #lebanon #livelovebatroun #balaplastic #pastastraw #pastastraws #ecofriendly #noplastic #livelovebeirut #summerinlebanon #goodvibes #961lebanese #nogarlicnoonions #zomatolb #lebaneseimmigrants #batroun #batrounoldsouks #followthegreendoors #barrio67 #recyclelebanon #breakfreefromplastic #visitlebanon

A post shared by Recycle Lebanon (@recyclelebanon) on

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A 120 #balaplastic beach clean up with #sort2recycle stations and reduction of waste completed with a #saveourface moment. 🍃 Presenting to the Lebanese Minister of Environment, H.E. @jreissatifady, my banner of collected signatures from international experts and associations in support to the Lebanese government to stop incineration and transition towards #zerowastecities in the framework of a #circulareconomy. 🍃 Signing from: #Germany, #France, #Spain, #Italy, #Montenegro, #Croatia, Bulgaria, #Japan, #Taiwan, #Phillipines, #Indonnesia, #India, #Africa, North and South #America 🍃 #itstartswithyou[th] #diveintoaction #savelebanon #lebanon #stopincineration #burninglebanon #healthiswealth #recyclelebanon #regeneratelebanon #cleanseas #beatairpollution #breakfreefromplastic

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The Journey

It’s true Kehdy has reached far, but her journey wasn’t easy.

The difficulties she faced mostly concerned laying down the structure of the NGO, as well as finding the proper funds. She further states that although she had received funds from Merci Corps,  &  March  in previous years, she continued her journey unfunded for four years to demonstrate a point.

Her message is to create sustainable change and not simply to collect money. 

However, despite the difficulties many helped and supported her along the way. Naming a few are : AUB Neighborhood initiative, Merci Corps, March, Cobiac, Matisse & theFarm.  They’re all listed on her  site

Last but not least, let’s not forget her greatest supporter and partner Nariman Hamdan, who not only gave her free space to host Ecosouk but is actively engaged in the whole movement. 

How You or Anyone Can Contribute!

Whether you jive with Recycle Lebanon’s mission or not, you cannot ignore the fact that the environment affects you & impacts your everyday life.

Hence, being concerned about it is no longer a luxury but a necessity. 

Thus, no matter what the task, be it donating, cleaning beaches, helping in mapping environmental stakeholders, coordinating tours or managing workshops, you are positively contributing to sustainable change.

Don’t underestimate the impact your individual efforts create. 

To get involved:

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