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Green Glass Recycling Initiative – Lebanon Launches New Designs

June 27, 2014

Earlier this month, the people behind the growing Green Glass Recycling Initiative – Lebanon launched their new line of recycled products at Plan BEY‘s new space next-door to their business, where they will feature different events and exhibitions.

I have done a couple of stories on this project, which was born from a collaboration with the last glass-blowing family left in Lebanon, the Khalifes, and waste management expert, Ziad Abichaker.

OMAR4841The story begins with war. Lebanon’s only green glass manufacturing plant was bombed and completely destroyed by Israel in the 2006 war here. That factory had previously used up to 50 percent of their raw material from recycled glass materials bought from their recycling network. Without that outlet, beer companies such as Almaza (who use green bottles) were forced to import bottles. Worse, 70 million green and amber bottles were ending up in the landfill every year.

Meanwhile, the Khalife family had problems of their own. Their ancient craft of glassblowing was at risk of being extinguished for good when they were struggling to meet the costs of production. Months would go by where they had no work.

All the while, Abichaker and his team at Cedar Environmental had been accruing a massive surplus of green and amber-colored bottles. Now, with the collaboration between  Abichaker and the Khalifes, the discarded bottles are turned into one-of-a-kind pieces of art sold throughout Lebanon’s capital city.


Photo by Omar Alkalouti.

Here is a fun video that explains very simply and thoroughly how the process works.

If you are interested in more about the GGRIL story, you can find my stories about the project on The Christian Science Monitor, Al-Monitor and Agenda Culturel.

I like the new models even better than the last line, which you can find at Plan BEY mid-July. You can also find GGRIL products at any of the following locations:

-Tawlet Restaurant, Mar Mikhael Achrafieh 01-448129
-Dar Bistro, Wardieh Hamra 01-373348
-Platform 39, Fassouh Achrafieh 03-719381
-The Bayrut Express, Sassine Square Achrafieh 03-239756
-The AUB Museum Shop, Bliss Hamra 01-340549
-Vide Posh, Main Badaro Street Badaro 03-228225
-Healthy Steps, Adonis 09-217198 / 03-746055

The lamps and various glass pieces, from carafes to vases, are affordable and very chic. And it’s a big bonus that it is a great way to help preserve some of Lebanon’s cultural heritage while helping the environment.

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