Over the last few years, we’ve seen people all across the world start to appreciate the affect plastic products have on the environment, but there are always a few people who stand out. One of them is Abdul Muqeet, who has already been dubbed Paper Bag Boy for his efforts as an eco-warrior. The best part? Abdul Muqeet is just 10 years old.
A student of Standard V at Abu Dhabi Indian School, Abdul was inspired by his country’s 2010 “UAE Free of Plastic Bags” campaign. He used his own initiative to imagine and create 100% recycled carry bags using paper waste, but that alone wasn’t enough. He then set out to distribute those bags in Abu Dhabi in a bid to completely replace the traditional single-use plastic bag. He called them ‘Mukku bags’, and he’s since become famous as Paper Bag Boy.
Abdul has already become one of the youngest ever recipients of the Abu Dhabi Awards. The awards were presented by General Sheikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Commander of the UAE Armed Forces. He’s also been selected to attend the UN’s Tunza conference in Indonesia to help spread awareness and demonstrate to the world at large a commitment to a cleaner environment.
Better yet, his incredible environmental initiative has led to sweeping changes across the Emirates in the form of large community campaigns. More than 4,000 paper bags were donated in Abu Dhabi during the first year alone, and workshops have been created at schools, government buildings, and private companies to show how paper bags can be created from old newspapers. Abdul’s own school joined several companies in Abu Dhabi in adopting his idea and exchanging plastic bags for paper.
As committed advocates of paper bags over plastic, we’re always thrilled to see how similar movements continue to spring up across the globe.