Let me share with you this case study: “Zero Zbel Xperience”. Conducted by Mamoun Ghallab, a young moroccan entrepreneur 30 yo. He’s now very famous among the youth of different neighborhoods in Casablanca. Every week he goes to a neighborhood and motivate young poeple and even families to reduce their domestic waste.
I let you discover his experience through this interview.
How did you start?
Zero Zbel Xperience (“Zbel” means “Trash” in Moroccan Arabic) is an initiative based on a personal challenge I launched the challenge of living by producing zero waste, and I gave myself five months to achieve that, between August and December 2013.
Zero Zbel Xperience was born from a simple observation: in Morocco there is no separate collection of waste, almost no recycling infrastructure and the waste ends up in nature or at best in uncontrolled dumps. Therefore, I have chosen to show how each citizen can act to its own level to contribute to the sustainable development of Morocco.
So I created a blog and my initiative relayed via social networks.
What is the current situation?
Zero Zbel Xperience has been underway since August 2013. The key project phase lasted six months, from August 2013 to January 2014, and since January 2014 the project and its results serve as tools for public awareness.
From August 2013 to December 2013, I adopted the following approach:
I started to weight my monthly “usual” waste production: In August 2013 I produced 12Kg of waste. Then I explored for 4 months the possibilities to reduce my waste. In December 2013, I weighed my garbage again to make a final diagnosis: after the experience I was producing more than 500 grams of household waste per month.
The solutions that I found concerning how to go shopping (avoid over-packaged products and find alternatives), reducing waste (including food), composting of organic waste (making a composter), manufacture of home hygiene products etc…
In addition, I wrote on my blog several articles on social issues related to waste: for example, made a report at the heart of the largest landfill in Morocco to highlight informal channels to manage our household waste.
From January 2014, I basically responded to requests to give lectures and lead workshops.
I also developed a repository for organizing events for a “zero-waste” process and a tool for assessing those events to deliver a “zero waste label”. I thus voluntarily helped organize the first “zero-waste” event in Morocco with a group of 25 youth.
The results of the experience so far are:
Through this experience, I managed to reduce my production of 96% of household waste.
Also, in raising awareness, the results are:
My accounts on social networks are federated around 15000 regular followers;
I have published nearly 40 articles on my blog, which attracted 26,210 unique visitors;
Media benefits were as follows:
- About 20 articles (print and web)
- 4 passages on national radio
I speak regularly at conferences and workshops:
- Intervention at the TEDx conference Casablanca 2013 (video above)
- 5 lectures at universities in Morocco
- 3 interventions at the “MEDCOP 21” in Marseille in June 2015 (workshops and conferences)
- “Sustainability Lab”: monthly workshops with NGOs enactus for capacity building of student groups bearers of social entrepreneurship project. The content of the workshop is inspired by the conclusions and philosophy of Zero Zbel Xperience
Contribution to the organization of the first “zero waste” event in Morocco: Casablanca TEDx 2015, the 3/26/2015 (600 participants).
Other ongoing collaborations around the “Label Zero Zbel”
Who is involved: Who is in the team? Roles and responsibilities? Skill levels, partnerships?
I lead the project alone so far. Occasionally, I supported many people individually (logistics / technical support, consultancy etc …) and some targeted partners such as:
- Enactus Morocco: around “Sustainability Labs” mentioned above
- TEDx Casablanca: Partner “Label Zero Zbel”
Short / Medium Term Projection: “I believe that to achieve x, we must do it through z”
To develop further awareness actions, I think I should develop communication through videos media, Internet and why not through TV channels. For this I need a partner who can bring me the technical expertise to create videos.
To develop the “Label Zero Zbel” I am creating new partnerships:
- Partnerships for artistic and cultural events are mostly for Moroccan associations;
- Partnerships with enterprises, including a round tourism and sports a future major project in Marrakech now “Surfin’Marrakech”.
To develop more partnerships, should increase the visibility of the label, including creating a dedicated website. Also, I plan to propose the “Label Zbel Zero” for the organization of MEDCOP 22 and COP 22 to be held in 2016 in Morocco.
What are your main goals / why you do this?
Initially the objective this initiative was twofold:
Prove that all Moroccans can reduce their production of household waste through simple gestures, even if there is no sorting or recycling channels organized in Morocco. For that it was necessary:
- Proving through concrete results that this approach is possible;
- Identify good and replicable practices adapted to the Moroccan context.
Raise awareness about our environmental impact every day especially among young people, relying on the experience and its results conducted by young people.
Currently, to push the initiative further and expand beyond the simple individual practice, I developed a repository for “zero waste” events, backed by a label: the “Label Zero Zbel” .
My current goal is to develop this label and maximum common use for various events.
What do you enjoy more about your job and what you like least?
I lead this project because I am fascinated by the problem of awareness and respect for the environment because I am convinced that countries like Morocco must create their own models of development. The philosophy of Zero Zbel Xperience is to do is simply to seek palliative solutions to environmental problems, but rather to treat at the source. Priority is given to the impact reduction at the source, before looking for solutions to manage our negative externalities.
What types of tasks you do on a regular basis? Yearly, monthly, weekly, daily
I do not make special regular duties. I manage my blog and continuously associated pages on social networks, and work more intensely when I have to accompany such events or workshops.
What, other than money, do you think could help you in your work?
I would need partners to:
- Legal support to formalize the registration Label and intellectual property issues related to it.
- Development of awareness through video media
- The development of a new website
What help can you give to others and under what conditions (assuming no money is involved)?
All I do about Zero Zbel Xperience is a volunteer job.
I can bring my help to other non-profit organizations through sharing my expertise in environmental matters for example via a support and the adoption of an environmental impact reduction approach in the conduct of their business.
What do you produce / What is your offer?
My offer consists of the advising for the adoption of an environmental impact reduction approach, particularly around the issue of waste.
I offer this service for free to NGOs and other non-profit organizations, and I could look forward to sell this service to companies for example.
Products or services you produce now?
I produced a repository of best practices for the adoption of a “zero waste” approach and an evaluation grid for awarding the Label “Zero Zbel”.
I also offer to my partners more visibility about my actions via my blog and my social networks.
How are you going to lead your project? What are the steps? Technologies or processes used?
The next steps are:
Develop necessary partnerships for:
- legal support to formalize the registration of the Label and intellectual property issues related to it.
- the development of media awareness video
- the development of a new website
Launch of a new awareness campaign web
Propose the label to new organisms to generalize to the maximum zero waste approach
Costs: What expenses are involved? Who benefits from the work? Which currently supports, how and why?
Until now the costs are minimal and I take care of them by myself.
Existing Alternatives: Who else is doing similar or related work / offering similar things- locally or elsewhere?
Locally, no other kind of label exists.
Significant actors that affect your work? (Local and International)
Long-term perspective: a business or sustainability plan?
Short term: I am currently conducting administrative procedures for the formal establishment of the Zero Zbel Association. This will further formalize the framework.
Medium term: A partnership with the Ministry of Environment for generalized zero waste approach to all official events is the best way to ensure broad impact and legitimacy of a good label.
Transport and logistics?
Law and policy directly or indirectly affecting your work?
What is the concept of pooling resources mean to you? Also on the concepts of collaboration and mutual support?
My entire action is based on sharing, collaboration and sharing of individual efforts to generate a positive impact for all.
The essence of the message of Zero Zbel Xperience is that convergence of small positive individual actions can be a radical solution to serious problems such as waste management in Morocco. Citizens have the power to change things on their own, it suffices to show that change is possible and that it is beneficial for all.