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Lebanon just got the Middle East’s first zero-waste store

Lebanon just got the Middle East’s first zero-waste store

EcoSouk sounds like a lot of other trendy new stores: It’s package-free, zero-waste, and eco-friendly with a wide selection of organic soaps and shampoos and cute kitchenware made out of recycled material for eco-conscious consumers to tote home in their reusable bags. It would fit in perfectly in Brooklyn, Portland, or Los Angeles, but EcoSouk is in Beirut. The nonprofit group Recycle Lebanon has just opened the doors of the store, which it says is the first zero-waste store anywhere in the Middle East.

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Website The961.com, which covers life in Lebanon, reports that the EcoSouk is a new concept for Beirut, both for local folks eager to reduce their carbon footprint and for producers who want to help make that possible. EcoSouk sells only eco-friendly products, which they define as “designed to do not harm the environment whether in their production, use or disposal.”

According to the store’s Instagram feed, the store already stocks products from over 40 producers and artists who are dedicated to fighting the global waste crisis. There’s a refill station, so customers don’t have to chuck their plastic bottles in the bin every time they run out of dish soap, laundry detergent, or shampoo:

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The #refillrevolution returns to the source, merging from traditional mouneh to detergent and cosmetics on #toxicfree tap. Thanks to #baladialternatives @honey_and_herbs_ hard work over generations with @sabounbaladi and @potionkitchen's passions, you'll find locally made and certified liquid olive oil soaps, shampoo, gel, body cream, masks, washing, household cleaner, glass spray and laundry liquid ready for refill #balaplastic in recycled glass containers by @koubgoldenglass Jars available in the hub or BYO. Want to learn how to make your own? @RootsAcademia workshops and training with #AroMarietherapy on the calendar! No excuse to produce waste and toxify our bodies when we are in the land of milk and honey with positive change makers at the ready! #meettheproducers #Ancientfutures #EcoSouk Hub Hamra hours open Monday – Saturday 10 – 7:30 pm. Official opening on February 6. We can't wait! #refillnotlandfill #zerowaste #EcoWarriors #breakfreefromplastic #madeinlebanon #lebanon #visitlebanon #circularhub #circulareconomy

A post shared by EcoSouk #CircularHub (@ecosouk) on

There are plenty of local specialties, too, including Meswak, which its Instagram feed explains is “a tooth-cleaning twig that boasts anti-bacterial and medicinal properties and has been in use across the Middle East for 7,000 years.” So long, Crest!

To ensure that its customers are doing right by the planet, EcoSouk is doing a DIY carbon exchange where customers get a free tree to plant in their yard to help reduce their carbon footprint as well as that of the store. According to The961.com, the trees are akidinia (loquat) trees, which are native to Lebanon.

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