Recycling is largely considered a mitigation issue, meaning it benefits the climate crisis by limiting current and future greenhouse gas emissions. However, in emerging markets, recycling is also a pressing issue of climate change adaptation, given that 218 million people are at high risk of plastic-aggravated flooding worldwide.
In Egypt, Bekia is addressing the problem of plastic waste by ensuring that plastic, paper, and other waste are recycled or otherwise safely disposed of. The startup is experiencing remarkable growth by tapping into the current momentum behind ESG and giving corporates a high-quality service for delivering on their commitments.
Recycling provides adaptation benefits by helping vulnerable communities manage the impact of heavy rains and floods, which are increasing in frequency thanks to climate change. Plastic pollution is a key cause of blocked drainage systems, transforming heavy rains into devastating floods, particularly for low-income people in urban settlements. A recent report found that "densely populated slums …are likely to be experiencing the worst effects of plastic-aggravated flooding due to rapid, poorly planned development with limited flood mitigation infrastructure." By safely disposing of waste, Bekia ensures that it doesn't land in drains and sewers, causing devastating floods. Floods compound existing and future risks, for example, lack of access to proper healthcare and exposure to water-borne diseases.
Recycling also provides benefits by repurposing existing materials and reducing the need for new materials, thereby preserving valuable natural resources, such as timber, water, minerals, and fossil fuels. By implementing recycling programs, businesses reduce thneed for raw materials extraction, thus minimizing the strain on the Earth's finite resources. This helps safeguard ecosystems and promotes long-term sustainability in industries that rely heavily on natural resources. For instance, recycling paper and cardboard into fresh paper reduces deforestation and the energy-intensive production of new paper.
Recycling waste also decreases emissions, since waste creates pollution and greenhouse gas emissions via decomposition in landfills. Recycling waste materials helps to minimize these adverse effects, and mitigate emissions.
Recycling also has ESG benefits for companies in an era where environmental consciousness is gaining momentum, and customers are looking for evidence of ethical behavior. Among various sustainable practices, waste recycling is a powerful tool for minimizing the impact of corporate operations on the environment. In today's socially conscious world, where consumers are increasingly drawn to businesses that prioritize sustainability, recycling waste demonstrates a commitment to responsible environmental stewardship and can significantly enhance a company's image and reputation and attract environmentally aware customers, foster customer loyalty, and differentiate themselves from competitors.
Finally, recycling helps corporates meet regulation and certification criteria. Organizations that fail to comply with these requirements may face fines, legal repercussions, and reputational damage. By establishing robust waste recycling practices, companies can ensure compliance, avoid penalties and maintain positive standing with regulators and stakeholders.
Bekia offers users (companies and households) a way to monetize their waste while being able to dispose of it safely and environmentally responsibly. Over 80 businesses have used Bekia's service, and these numbers keep growing since there is increased demand as corporations become more aware of the importance of sustainable practices and include them in their agendas. These businesses have collectively recycled over 100 tons of waste, contributing to an estimated 300 tons of CO2 avoided based on the Waste Reduction Model (WARM) model. Among the Bekia users are companies working in logistics, construction, e-commerce, banking, FMCG, and education, among others.
"The service is perfect, and we are happy to find a vendor in Egypt that is supporting our environment health as you do; all the visits and collection are on time, and we are happy to deal with you." - Microsoft Manager
In a recent survey run among these businesses, 83% of the respondents highlighted that they mainly use Bekia's service because it helps them achieve their sustainability goals, citing this reason more highly than the monetary value they receive in exchange for their waste. Bekia also provides a recycling certificate that helps businesses prove their ESG practices.
Bekia is able to deliver exceptional value to its customers by harnessing tech via a mobile app, a web platform, or WhatsApp. Once businesses have accumulated waste to be collected, they input the details into Bekia's app platform and confirm the collection time. The order gets automatically assigned to the nearest Bekia's collector partner. The waste is validated and weighed during the pick-up, inputted into the collector's app, and the corresponding cash reward is deposited into the customer's Bekia e-wallet. Users can then withdraw this cash anywhere or donate to an NGO. At the end of the month, a report with the amount of waste and the estimated CO2 avoided is generated and sent to each business customer for ESG records.
Recycling corporate waste is not just an ethical obligation but also a strategic decision that benefits both businesses and the environment. By embracing recycling practices provided by Bekia, users can conserve natural resources, minimize their environmental footprint, reduce energy consumption, enhance their public image, comply with regulations, and promote employee engagement. The path to a sustainable future lies in the hands of corporate entities that recognize the importance of responsible waste management and actively participate in recycling initiatives, enabled by powerful innovators like Bekia.