Workers clean the beach in Zouk Mosbeh, Tuesday, Jan. 23, 2018. (The Daily Star/Mohammad Azakir)
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Lebanon is far from seeing an end to its waste crisis, but one local grass-roots movement has picked up steam in recent months, bringing together concerned individuals to advocate the zero-waste lifestyle. #BalaPlastic made its debut in August when NGO Recycle Lebanon organized a beach cleanup at Raouche in collaboration with Mercy Corps and Greenpeace. Recycle Lebanon founder Joslin Kehdy described #BalaPlastic as an "open movement" initiated to tackle consumption, production and legislation of environmental pollutants in Lebanon. Using the hashtag, the movement invites all social media users in Lebanon to join in by tagging eco-friendly establishments to promote them.Salua Moussawei, another member of the #BalaPlastic group and volunteer with Recycle Lebanon, agreed that having a country-specific group was more constructive.Specifically, she underscored that establishments were more likely to make a change if called out for gratuitous waste in a community directly familiar with them.Julien Jreissati, a campaigner at Greenpeace, said all members and volunteers of the Lebanon branch are active in the #BalaPlastic movement.When the change was announced, #BalaPlastic was tagged aligning all three eateries with the movement.
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