Young Champions of Earth: trashing barriers to boost recycling in Kuwait

The United Nations

An electrical engineer from Kuwait is being recognized by the United Nations for her success in raising the environmental importance and economic value of recycling in one of the wealthiest countries in the world.

Fatemah Alzelzela says she had to overcome stigma around waste collection, scepticism from the business community as well as prejudice about her age and gender in order to set up her recycling company, Eco Star.

Since early 2019, the company has recycled over three-and-a-half tonnes of plastic, 10 tonnes of paper and 120 tonnes of metal in a country where 90 per cent of waste ends up in landfill sites.

And those people who provide material for recycling are rewarded with plants.

Fatemah Alzelzela is one of seven innovators who have been recognized as United Nations Environment Programme’s Young Champions of the Earth for 2020.

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