Beirut – home to Ali Baba's circular economy cavern

Opened in the Lebanese capital by Recycle Lebanon, this zero waste shop champions the circular economy.

EcoSouk not only champions eco-friendly materials and manufacturing processes but also traditional skills.

Lebanon’s first zero waste store opened in February 2019 in the heart of Beirut's Hamra district. Dedicated to eco-friendly and local natural products - sold in bulk or in minimal packaging - alongside recycled and upcycled items, EcoSouk is a circular economy Ali Baba’s cavern.

It has packaging-free and chemical-free cosmetics and cleaning products, along with clothing, accessories, kitchen utensils and decorative items - all made from recycled waste. EcoSouk not only champions eco-friendly materials and manufacturing processes but also traditional skills.

Its shelves are filled thanks to the efforts of the large numbers of local producers and designers who offer a wide variety of products. These include recycled, biodegradable and recycled paper notebooks by Papyrus, soft toys, handbags and decorative items by Jellyfish made by Syrian women from used plastic bags, and Saboun Baladi's liquid soaps.

Several associations are present too. For example EcoServ, which specializes in recycling electronic devices and promotes good WEEE practices, and Disco Soup, which raises public awareness about food waste. Launched in 2012 in France, the movement quickly spread to other countries, including Lebanon, where the association has organized several events.

EcoSouk is an initiative run by the Recycle Lebanon NGO, a social innovation and circular economy hub founded in 2015 – it is known in particular through its #BalaPlastic project which campaigns against the overconsumption of plastic. More than just a shop, its creator, Joslin Kehdy, wanted to make it a point of access to the world of zero waste and responsible consumption.

 

CREDITS : Main picture © Veolia © Noémie Rosset

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