Recycle in Style: Promoting Morocco’s Youth Environmental Innovations

Since its inception, one of the objectives of Environmental Youth Ambassadors (EYA) program was to generate dialogue on local environmental challenge and especially solutions, today, we are highlighting an innovative project: a handbag produced from recycled materials.

Meet Mohamed Ahattouche, the brilliant mind behind this idea. Mohamed is a twenty-one years old student at the Academy of Traditional Arts in Casablanca. During his studies, Mohamed had the opportunity to interact with many artisans in different areas, especially leather fields. Among the problems he observed the disposal method of used leather, which is mainly thrown away, and causes a real environmental issue, especially that leather contains Chromium chemical element.

thisThis issue got his attention and inspired him to think about an effective solution. He came up with idea of creating leather bags using leather waste.  Mohamed and his team, Marouane Zelmate and Taha Kamal, visited workshops and companies, asked them for leather waste and got it for free. After making a prototype, they participated in Morocco’s 2016 National Competition of Recycling last March in Rabat and made it to the finals. Thanks to that, they will have the chance to attend and display their product at the 2016 UN Climate Change Conference in Marrakech next November.

Mohamed and his team’s innovative leadership regarding environmental issues in Morocco will help small artisans now to have the ability to use leather waste instead of buying raw leather material that is generally expensive. Such initiatives must be encouraged and supported for the greater common good.

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