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Water Security in the Arab World

Water availability in the Arab region is a critical issue as the region has 5 percent of the world’s population having access to merely 1 percent of the world’s total water resources. According to United Nations estimates, around 12 Arab countries suffer from severe water shortages. The per capita availability of renewable water resources is less than 500 m3 per year. In order to resolve this critical situation, many projects in the Arab Strategy for Water Security (2010-2030) support efficient management and use of water resources. Read more

Waste Management in Morocco

Solid waste management is one of the major environmental problems threatening the Mediterranean Kingdom of Morocco. More than 5 million tons of solid waste is generated across the country with annual waste generation growth rate touching 3 percent. The proper disposal of municipal solid waste in Morocco is exemplified by major deficiencies such as lack of proper infrastructure and suitable funding in areas outside of major cities.  Read more

The Menace of Marine Litter

Marine litter, long a neglected topic, has started to garner some attention. Marine litter is composed of a diverse mix of items from various sources and so a one-size fits all solution is unlikely to be effective. Abandoned, lost and discarded fishing gear (ALDFG), plastic packaging (bottles, caps, bags, etc.) and plastic manufacturing pellets are amongst the most common and persistent items found. Comparing the feasibility and the financial case for recovery versus prevention for each of these groups reveals a worrying gap in our attempts to deal with the problem. Read more

Recycling of EPS Foam

EPS foam is a highly popular plastic packaging material which finds wide application in packaging of food items, electronic goods, electrical appliances, furniture etc due to its excellent insulating and protective properties. EPS foam (or Polystyrene) is also used to make useful products such as disposable cups, trays, cutlery, cartons, cases etc. Despite the attractiveness of polystyrene, municipalities and organisations are facing a growing problem in disposal of polystyrene packaging and products. Being large and bulky, polystyrene take up significant space in rubbish bins which means that bins becomes full more quickly and therefore needs to be emptied more often. Polystyrene is lightweight compared to its volume so it occupies lots of precious landfill space and can be blown around and cause a nuisance in the surrounding areas. Although some companies have a recycling policy, most of the polystyrene still find its way into landfill sites around the world. Read more

Significance of E-Waste Management

optimized-ewaste-pile
Electronic waste (or e-waste) is the fastest growing waste stream, and its disposal is a major environmental concern in all parts of the world. More than 50 million tons of e-waste is generated every year with major fraction finding its way to landfills and dumpsites. E-waste comprises as much as 8% of the municipal solid waste stream in rich nations, such as those in GCC. Globally only 15 – 20 percent of e-waste is recycled while the rest is dumped into developing countries. However, in the Middle East, merely 5 percent of e-waste is sent to recycling facilities (which are located in Asia, Africa and South America) while the rest ends up in landfills. Read more

The Menace of Plastic Water Bottles

Plastic water bottles are a common feature in urban life in the Middle East. The availability of water bottles is common and the cost is affordable by all sections of the society due to which its use and misuse has increased manifolds with time. People also provide it for free in mosques and other public locations. It is because of its easy availability that people misuse this resource considering it free, taking a bottle, sipping it, consuming partly and leaving it at the venue or throwing it in garbage bins. Read more

Recycling of Glass

Glass and bottles are a large component of waste due to their weight and density consisting of bottles, broken glassware, light bulbs and other items. The glass bottle use is not much declining due to rising consumers, high consumption and introduction of a variety of soft drinks and juices. Glass recycling is at a minimum in the Middle East due to lack of segregation, awareness and economical reasons. Management of glass bottles is a major challenge as it takes millions of years to degrade glass naturally. Read more

Top 5 Ways to Reduce Your Plastic Footprint

With recent reports on the staggering amount of plastic waste floating in our oceans, rivers and lakes, it is high time we start doing something about this problem. Recycling is good, but for many reasons, it is not the answer to the global plastic pollution. We must all learn how to reduce the amount of plastic waste we are producing in the first place. Here are my five favorite ways to reduce your personal plastic footprint.

Bring Your Own Bag
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Egypt’s Water Crisis – Recipe for Disaster

Egypt has been suffering from severe water scarcity in recent years. Uneven water distribution, misuse of water resources and inefficient irrigation techniques are some of the major factors playing havoc with water security in the country. Being more or less an arid country, Egypt is heavily dependent on rain in other countries to support its rapidly growing population and development. The River Nile is the lifeline of the country as it services the country’s industrial and agricultural demand and is the primary source of drinking water for the population. Read more

Introduction to Green Roofs

Green roofs are emerging technologies that can provide a wide range of tangible and intangible benefits to communities interested in enhancement of their environment. Green roof development involves the construction of a vegetative layer on top of a human-made structure or building adding green space to areas that would otherwise be unused. The major benefits of green roofs are reducing energy use as well as air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions, enhancing stormwater management and water quality, decreasing heat island effect by regulating temperature for the roof and the surrounding areas and providing aesthetic value and habitats for many species. Read more