Going 100% Plastic Free, Zööba Is Helping Make The World A Better Place
By Muhammed Aladdin
With images of dead whales washing up on shores, turtles with straws stuck in their nostrils, and dolphins mistaking it for food, single-use plastics have become an epidemic haunting our already fragile environment. And, while the rest of the world is taking steps to reduce their use, many of us in the Arab World brushed this off our shoulders.
We’re choosing to be convenient over considerate, but one Egyptian restaurant saw the damage and decided to try to make a difference.
Zööba has been a staple of Egyptian cuisine fine dining ever since opening its doors in 2012. The restaurant had surprised us with its unique, creative design, and mouthwatering Egyptian authentic food, and overnight it has become a crowd favorite.
Their growth was an all-Egyptian success story, starting with only one branch in Zamalek, then opening six more all over the Greater Cairo Region, and recently, expanding into Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, and the United States. Zööba has become more than just a restaurant, it has become a world-renowned representative of Egypt’s food culture.
Recently though, the branches have been seeing a lot of internal changes, and many goers realized the disappearance of the iconic Zööba refrigerator by the door of each branch. In a heartwarming Facebook post, the people behind the franchise have stated that they wanted to be more environmentally responsible. While the refrigerators are very convenient, showcasing what the restaurant has to offer its customers, their removal would reduce the plastic bottle consumption by 350,000 bottles per year. Zööba decided to go 100% plastic free!
The team has also stated on Facebook that the decision was not an easy one to make as plastic alternatives were scarce in Egypt, but by letting the refrigerators go, they believe they have done the right thing. Still, Zööba will be serving their iconic salads, juices, and other produce fresh.
In a praiseworthy move, the restaurant has asked its concerned customers to send recommendations and suggestions on how to be more environmentally friendly on the following e-mail: “firstname.lastname@example.org”.
The refrigerator removal was not the only change in the branches; elements of Arabic calligraphy could now be seen more in all six branches. In addition to more ornate ceramic tiles representative of Egyptian culture, while antiques from all around Egypt have been added to the restaurant’s internal design. It looks like Zööba wants to connect more with the roots of the Egyptian way-of-life.
Egypt alone produces 970,000 tonnes of plastic waste, 45% of it is recycled, while the rest is discarded in either a landfill or a water body such as rivers or seas. Imagine this amount of plastic being thrown away into the Nile, Red or Mediterranean seas that is to remain there for millions of years, unless we do something about it. If more restaurants follow Zööba’s model, the amount of plastic waste produced will significantly decrease.