Recycling Agricultural Plastic Waste in Gaza
Gaza’s farmland in the best of times will flourish with strawberries and corn. But the plantings leave behind a lot of plastic waste that needs to be removed before the next season’s crops can be planted. Before ANERA initiated the clean-up program in 2008, Beit Lahia farmers had calculated that there were more than 200 tons of nylon sheets and external greenhouse covers was littering their fields.
Farmers found it difficult and costly to get rid of all the plastic waste. They used to burn it, but that polluted the air and the suffocating odor sickened children and adults.
From 2008 to 2o10, ANERA organized an environmental clean-up project that cleared the fields of the debris and recycled it into useful materials for the farmers. The program, initially funded with a grant from the Firedoll Foundation in 2008, also provided temporary jobs for local residents where unemployment rates are staggering.
In two seasons, more than 60 workers cleared several hundred tons of plastic debris from more than 250 Gaza farms. The waste was then recycled into useful irrigation tubes.
How it Worked
Step 1: Organized awareness sessions for participating farmers about protecting the environment
Step 2: Hired workers to clear fields of plastic debris
Step 3: Recycled the waste into irrigation pipes at nearby factories
The Plan in Action
“We have coordinated with factories to recycle the plastic wisely and safely in order to produce plastic bags and agricultural irrigation pipes. One of these factories is located in eastern Gaza and it has already received some of the collected waste material.” Read more >>
“As far as I know, this is the first project of its kind to be implemented in northern Gaza. It is a win-win situation for everyone: the farmers have clean farms, the environment is improved, and many hours of work are created for people who really need it.” Read more >>
“I have five kids to take care of. I had been unemployed until this project came along. Since I live nearby, working here is very convenient for me and I can also save money.” Read more >>