Video: Boy uses football frenzy to send a message against plastic

Video: Boy uses football frenzy to send a message against plastic
Faiz Mohammed with his custom-made reusable bags. - KT photo by Kiran Prasad

Dubai - Faiz Mohammed purchased around 130 reusable plain bags with the intention of distributing them among the groceries


Kelly Clarke

Published: Mon 25 Jun 2018, 10:21 PM

Last updated: Thu 28 Jun 2018, 6:39 PM

One young Dubai resident has turned his love for the Fifa World Cup into a savvy way to get residents and businesses to reduce their plastic bag usage. And so far, he has targeted 25 shops which collectively waste 30,000 bags a month.
After visiting the small groceries near his home in Karama, 10-year-old Indian expatriate Faiz Mohammed was left shocked by the amount of plastic bags being used for home deliveries alone.

"Most shopkeepers told me that on an average day, they used 40 bags. When I did the math, I realised they were using 280 bags per week; that's 1,200 bags per month just to deliver groceries. It's crazy," he told Khaleej Times.
With a total of 30,000 plastic bags being used each month by delivery boys, the number did not sit well with Mohammed. As such, he decided to use his love for football to help combat plastic waste.
Using Dh150 of his Eid Al Fitr money, Mohammed purchased around 130 reusable plain bags with the intention to distribute them among the groceries.
"I started writing and decorating the bags with the names of teams from the 2018 World Cup. There is such a buzz around the tournament so I knew the designs would attract people's attention."
He then handed out five bags to each shop, urging the delivery drivers to use them in place of plastic bags, when out on delivery.
"I got a really good response actually. They all promised me they would cut down their plastic use and since then, they have told me that customers have liked the idea too."
Since then, the buzz he has created has really helped open up the discussion about saving plastic.
"When people see the bags, they ask me why the names of football teams are on them so I explain what my mission is. The bags have become synonymous with the World Cup, but with saving plastic too. I want to reach even more groceries now. If the Dubai Municipality could help me do that, I think we would see really great change."
Standing by the motto that "small drops can make a big ocean", Mohammed said it is up to the residents (the drops) to make that change. And once the World Cup ends, his mission won't stop there.
"I plan to carry on distributing the bags, but this time I will add catchy slogans instead. I want people to ask questions about the bags. If delivery men are using bags that aren't the norm, people will wonder why and that can lead to conversations about being more sustainable."

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