Recycling paper is an old art that has been known worldwide for centuries. However it is still a new concept in Egypt, although it can an effective way to overcome the increasing unemployment rates among youths. Using the rolled recycled papers, one can make coloured accessories, portraits, baskets, and many other objects that can help start a small project and earn a living.
After years of unemployment, Sherif El-Masry decided to challenge his surrounding circumstances and create his small project. Using old newspapers and magazines that can be found in any household, El-Masry creates flexible products and sells them for profit. Although he encountered some difficulties at the beginning due to the unavailability of recycling machines in Egypt, he created a small machine with very simple materials. He then managed to produce different art pieces that appealed to a large numbers of customers.
“The rolled paper industry can be an important source to enhance people’s skills, even the disabled and those with special needs since they can easily produce beautiful items that can help them out of their isolation, integrate them into the larger society, and turn into active members able to financially support their families,’’ El-Masry said.
Aiming to spread recycled paper art, El-Masry cooperates with 57,357 cancer hospitals to provide free workshops for children. He launched a Facebook page called “Learn, Create, and Sell’’. The page provides useful tips and ideas on how to recycle old plastic and paper materials such as old CD albums, empty shampoo bottles, and baskets to decorate desks, doors, and gardens. Anyone can contact him and get useful tips about how to start their small project and what materials are required.
Because some people believe paper products can be easily damaged and should only be used for decorative purposes, El-Masry explains why he believes this beleif is wrong. “Certain components can be added to the paper during the industrial process to make it washable and unbreakable. You can make a beautiful fruit tray out of recycled paper and wash it many times without damaging it,’’ he said.