Egypt is the most populous country in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) Region, with 97 per cent of its 100 million inhabitants living around the Nile riverbanks and the Nile Delta.

The formal waste management sector is very young, and the majority of waste management operations are run by the informal sector. Waste collectors, many of them young and in poverty, are the backbone of the circular economy in Egypt, ensuring that recyclable materials are collected and returned to the manufacturing sector.

It is an exciting time for waste management in Egypt, with a new national Waste Management Law seeking to provide incentives to encourage waste collectors, small businesses and recycling centres to join the formal economy. Egypt is also hosting COP27 in November 2022, which will offer an opportunity to raise the profile of the young green champions who contribute to Egypt’s circular economy.