Green Glass Recycling Initiative – Lebanon

How would you explain your organization in 300 words or less?

In the July 2006 war, the only green glass manufacturing plant in Lebanon was completely destroyed and to date not rebuilt. The plant served the local beer and wine industries and used up all the green and amber glass from the Lebanese glass recycling stream.

Since that date, about 71 Million green & amber bottles end up in Landfills or uncontrolled dumps EVERY YEAR. The Green Glass Recycling Initiative – Lebanon (GGRIL) addresses the lack of recycling of green & amber glass packaging by reviving the glass blowing artisanship which was invented in this land by the Phoenicians.

How is sustainability incorporated into your process?

We only work with reclaimed glass from the Municipal Solid Waste stream of Lebanon. GGRIL aims to divert as much as possible of green/amber bottles from ending up in landfills or forests where they are a major fire hazard. All proceeds from the sales of our glass items will go back into the stream to provide more work for the glass-blowing artisans and hence divert more colored glass from the waste stream and provide higher recycling & recuperation rates.

Until May 2018, GGRIL had diverted about 1,000,000 bottles from ending up in landfills by forwarding them to the glassblowers of Sarafand who have had more work in the last 5 years making GGRIL designs than they had for the last 25 years combined.

What was the reason you decided to pursue sustainable practices?

It’s a core philosophy in everything we do.

What would you like to see in the future for sustainability in art?

Affordability, so it becomes mainstream.

What impact are you seeing & how do you measure success?

People are embracing our initiative and it shows via their support to our sales.

How has the COVID-19 pandemic impacted your studio or organization?

Somehow we were considered as a vital industry and were allowed to operate under the safety guidelines.

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