Lebanese American University students sailed a ‘Phoenician ship’ from Byblos to the Beirut port — and it was all made out of plastic bottles, the National News Agency reported.
Students worked with the ‘Chreek’ environmental nonprofit to collect more than 50,000 plastic bottles to build the ship. More than 25,000 were used in its construction, officials said.
Jbeil Mayor Wissam Zaarour said the project worked in cooperation with the Byblos Municipality, and aims at drawing attention to the environmental damage caused by non-sorting of waste.
“(The ship) is an environmental symbol because the boat is made of 50,000 plastic bottles aimed at raising awareness about the dangers of this type of waste,” Zaarour told the National News Agency. “It’s also cultural symbolism by embodying the Phoenician vessels that were used for trade and export of Lebanese cedar wood through the Jbeil coast.”
According to the LAU organizers, 50,000 bottles represents 10 percent of daily usage of plastic bottles in Lebanon.
Students said the project also aims to show how plastic waste does not decompose in nature, while celebrating Phoenician history known for its manufacturing of ships.
A ceremony held in Byblos was attended by Lebanese Culture Minister Ghattas Khoury, Lebanese American University President Joseph Jabbra and the Chreek Association Head George Ghafari, among other government and university officials.
The attendees sent off the ship from the coast of Jbeil to the Beirut port.