A UK Muslim Reflects on Recycling Potential for the Middle East

snow uk roadsThe UK snow-in didn’t stop this Muslim woman from recycling. Now she proposes some reasons why the Middle East should start.

Green Prophet is proud to welcome our latest contributor Zaufishan. Based in the UK, she is a founder of the “Illuminating” Muslim blog network Muslimness, and will be covering the connection between the environment and Islam.

Snowy weather affects our recycling: Snow storms, heavy rain and the lack of grit to melt the snow on roads here in the UK delayed garbage collection for most of the country. That has led to a huge piling of garbage, recycling bins and glass bottles in my particular neighbourhood, but that hasn’t stopped me from organising my household rubbish into recyclable groups to reduce waste.

I’m a passionate Muslim environmentalist and strongly believe that individual effort has an impact globally. In this suburban English area foxes and rats are potentially spreading disease since the high number of rubbish bags in people’s gardens are being ripped open and biodegrading. I will have to resort to take my recycling products to local facilities, once the weather improves!

So how does my recycling affect any Middle Eastern country?

Well, plastic recycling is not widely practised in the Middle East. Even though recycled materials are collected, they’re not taken to recycling plants because companies don’t find it economically viable to do so. Further information from “Recycling in the Middle East” states that plastic collected is used as land fillers but after 30 or so years the plastic starts to release methane gas, a very dangerous greenhouse gas with high global warming potential.

Why recycle?

• For every ton of paper that is recycled, at least 30,000 litres of water is saved.
• Around 3,000 to 4,000 KWh electricity is cut down.
• A reduction of around 95% of air pollution is achieved.

In Islamic culture recycling is a rewarding scheme which bring benefits to both people and the environment. Wasting on the other hand should be avoided as the Quran states: “…Do not waste by excess, for Allah does not love the wasters.” Quran, (6:141)

If I as a Briton can maintain my recycling come rain or snow I know in the long run it will help the planet as a whole.

Future Waste Management Development

I’m glad to know that while the main contributors of global warming – America, China and Russia – are being pressured to act faster, smaller countries who otherwise don’t get voiced are becoming more active in reducing their land waste.

For example the Abu Dhabi Environmental Authority is one company who plan to provide better administration of waste materials in the Emirates with solutions for the treatment of all types of waste materials. Further, according to the World Bank estimates, billions of dollars will be invested in the environmental sectors in the Middle East over the next ten years.

There have been exceptional opportunities for businesses wishing to reach the waste management market during the Middle East Recycling Trade Show in 2008-09.

For more information on the benefits of recycling check out Recycling ME.

Image via zaufishan

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8 thoughts on “A UK Muslim Reflects on Recycling Potential for the Middle East”

  1. Majed says:

    Recycling and the environment is an important topic in Islam. The prophet (peace and blessings upon) him said “purity is half of faith”.These tasks are primarily successful if governments initiate and see them through by enshrining them in their law. It will require our educational establishments to build the correct cultural attitudes in our Muslim societies such that every citizen is aware of the importance of such issues.Unfortunately, in many of our Muslim countries the politics are driven by dynasty rule where we have the best of the worst ruling over them; which means they are simply clueless about such issues and many others like the availability of clean water, electricity and gas. This is all despite a new breed of a younger generation arising who are trying to understand their identity in the modern world based on the tenets of Islam and its offerings and who have a drive and an interest in these areas. This is refreshing and hopefully a catalyst for change for the Muslim world.

  2. Majed says:

    Recycling and the environment is an important topic in Islam. The prophet (peace and blessings upon) him said “purity is half of faith”.These tasks are primarily successful if governments initiate and see them through by enshrining them in their law. It will require our educational establishments to build the correct cultural attitudes in our Muslim societies such that every citizen is aware of the importance of such issues.Unfortunately, in many of our Muslim countries the politics are driven by dynasty rule where we have the best of the worst ruling over them; which means they are simply clueless about such issues and many others like the availability of clean water, electricity and gas. This is all despite a new breed of a younger generation arising who are trying to understand their identity in the modern world based on the tenets of Islam and its offerings and who have a drive and an interest in these areas. This is refreshing and hopefully a catalyst for change for the Muslim world.

  3. aneebaba says:

    Great piece Zaufishan 🙂

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