recycleKUWAIT: The story of the recycling industry in Kuwait continues to be told in the context of being a challenge both on the socioeconomic and environmental domains. However, through the private and public sectors’ individual and group involvement, this industry could be a possible contender to further revitalize national economy. As Kuwait set sail for its ambitious development plan, the industrial sector was one of the main benefactors of the plan, becoming a second source for income in the country. Being part of the industrial sector, recycling could be propelled to the top of the list of revitalizing Kuwait’s economy and such action should be done through lessening dependency on landfills and focusing on building more recycling factories which will provide job opportunities and clean energy.

Benefits The numerous economic and environmental benefits coming out of the concept of recycling are endless and for such industry to fully exist in Kuwait, there must be a need to reinforce the concept as a vital option, said Farah Sha’ban, member of the Ministry of Social Affairs and Labor’s Amina (trustworthy) recycling project. Sha’ban affirmed that encouraging society to recycle material will indeed help in creating an industry of such magnitude that will help contribute to Kuwait both economically and environmentally.

Regarding the Amina project, she indicated that the venture focused on recycling plastic water bottles, adding that volunteers from the project roam Kuwait searching for material where ever possible. After the collecting the bottles, they are processed in a certain way to make sure they were recyclable and then sent to factories, said Sha’ban who noted that the project was now looking for permits to launch its own factory.

Arguing the benefits of recycling in Kuwait, Professor of Economics at Kuwait University (KU) Dr Naif Al- Shimmari said meanwhile that the country being one of the biggest producer of waste in the world, it was very important to consider the ‘pros and cons’ of the process. On one hand, Kuwait, with its total population of 4.19 million, produces around 1.5 kilograms of waste for each individual with most heading to landfills, said Shimmari. However, the correcting handling of the enormous amount of junk will prove to be a key ingredient to utilize recycling as an economic tool. The concept, on papers, sounds solid, said Shimmari but in order to make it work, the state should work out more regulations and legislations that are for recycling and not against it.

Investors Policies should be carried out to make the recycling industry a reality and this could be done through attracting capable and professional foreign investors to help in setting the plans in motion, said the KU professor. Contributing to the issue, Kuwait Industrial Union’s (KIU) Director General Huda Al-Baqshi said that the union took steps to encourage recycling in Kuwait, launching a program aimed at involving youth in the recycling process. Establishing other source for developing national economy is a responsibility that should be carried out by sought a better future for the country, said Baqshi on KIU’s focus on youth. She said that KIU welcomed all initiatives to help recycling become on the forefront of the Kuwaiti industrial scene, noting that the union had issues several recommendation in such regard. — KUNA