Massive pyramid built from 18 tonnes of waste equivalent to 1m plastic bags from the Nile


    The iconic pyramids of Giza now have a new neighbour, as a company has built the world’s largest plastic waste pyramid, using 18 tonnes of trash fished out of the Nile river. Unveiled today ahead of the COP27 in Sharm el-Sheikh, the structure also heralded the beginning of an initiative aimed at cleaning the planet for the next 100 years. The massive pyramid took five days to be constructed and was built in Egypt’s Western Desert, just outside Cairo. Standing taller than a three-story building, the gargantuan statue is made up of the equivalent of 1 million plastic water bottles and rubbish collected from the Nile River.

    The unveiling of this pyramid was accompanied by the beginning of a movement called the 100YR CLEANUP, which is an initiative led by zero-waste company Zero Co and mission-led wine The Hidden Sea. 

    The project aims to fund large-scale rubbish clean-ups for the next 100 years and will look to drive accountability for the global single-use plastic waste crisis.

    Consumers can look to take part in this initiative by sponsoring the removal of “bundles of trash”, while businesses can do their bit by contributing funds towards the initiative.

    Justin Moran, founder of The Hidden Sea, which is a wine company taking plastic out of the ocean every time a bottle is bought, said: “Despite its epic size, the pyramid shows just a fraction of what is an incredible crisis.

    “Powered by wine drinkers, The Hidden Sea has removed 18 million plastic bottles from the ocean so far; this demonstrates that consumers simply need a clear way to be part of the solution. This COP27, our message is clear.

    “It’s time to draw a line in the sand and change how we manage the crisis. Those who have the ability, have the responsibility.”

    100YR CLEANUP founder, Mike Smith, said: “We can’t fix the plastic problem alone, but we can give everyone the ability to take action.

    “By working together with businesses, industry leaders and inviting the public to take direct action, we’ll be able to build a scalable solution to the problem and have a huge impact.”

    READ MORE: Climate change is threatening our archaeological record, experts warn

    The two companies aim to raise a million dollars (£894,000) over the next which they estimate will help remove 15 million water bottles worth of rubbish and drive the initiative’s mission year on year, for the next 100 years. 

    Mr Smith continued: “We want to ensure that future generations have the opportunity to experience untouched wilderness in all its powerful forces. Whilst we inherit this planet from our ancestors, we also borrow it from our children.”

    With sufficient funding, the two companies will build full-time teams in South-East-Asia and Australia, dedicated to cleaning the planet 5 days a week, every week, every year, for the next 100 years.

    This project comes ahead of the 2022 United Nations Climate Change Conference, or COP27, where leaders from around the world will gather to hammer out a plan to tackle the climate crisis.

    Yesterday, Prime Minsiter Rishi Sunak U-turned on Cop27 and confirmed he will attend the climate summit in Egypt. It comes less than 24 hours after Boris Johnson piled further pressure on the PM by saying he would travel to Sharm El Sheikh for the United Nations meeting, which kicks off on Sunday.

    The Prime Minister tweeted: “There is no long-term prosperity without action on climate change. There is no energy security without investing in renewables.

    “That is why I will attend CoP27 next week: to deliver on Glasgow’s legacy of building a secure and sustainable future.”

    Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer accused the PM of acting “in the name of political management” rather than the national interest.

    He tweeted: “Caving in to criticism is not leadership. Real leadership is seizing your seat at the table. For UK jobs. For clean energy. For our environment. Rishi Sunak acts in the name of political management. Labour acts in the national interest.”


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