Arcenciel: Bottle Caps for Wheelchairs
In 2015, the director of the Lebanese non-governmental organization Arcenciel felt a surge of pride knowing that his organization's bottle caps project had created grassroots awareness of the importance of recycling. In recent years, Arcenciel had grown from an organization that supported people who were disabled and disenfranchised to become the largest recycler in the region. The organization had managed to create a synergy between its engagement on behalf of people who were marginalized and its activities to dispose of garbage in a sustainable and environmentally friendly way. The Lebanese public was encouraged to collect plastic waste; and in exchange for each tonne of collected bottle caps, Arcenciel would donate a wheelchair to a person with a disability who was in need. This initiative engaged thousands of people in joint collection efforts. The director wondered how the trust that Arcenciel had gained through the bottle caps project could be harnessed to bring about political change, and to place environmental and social issues in Lebanon on the national agenda.