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Oil-Rich Algeria Goes Green


Algeria, a land known for being oil rich, has made a conscious decision to add another string to its bow.

It’s making a determined effort to cut waste and promote more green projects in the country instead. This means a two-fold strategy: more renewable energy projects and stronger support for recycling efforts.

And one particular factory stands out in the crowd, as it takes the lead on the new “go green” movement.

Sebtex Recycling, a new trailblazer in the booming recycling industry, has been collecting plastic bottles and turning this waste into textiles or wadding (which is a padded material used for packaging). In the city of Constantine, Sebtex factory foreman, Hichman Naamoun, says: “It’s useful for everyone. We make blankets and many other things [and] this comes from plastic bottles.”

Indeed, Sebtex converts 1.2 million used plastic bottles into 30 tons of raw wadding every day.

It’s an impressive tally that’s as environmentally beneficial as it is lucrative…

From Waste to Profits

Sebtex General Manager Derraji Sebti is excited about the profitability that the new green economy is showing: “This waste, which was a burden on the state, is now sold today, everything is sold… The dump has become a gold mine for everyone.” 

Considering that many of those bottles would take 400 years to biodegrade, this green boost is helping Algeria meet its international environmental obligations and change the perception of the country.

You see, while Algeria has long been a serious oil player, going green is a top priority for its government, too. In fact, the country is a key African player in Arnold Schwarzenegger’s international environmental group, Climate Action (R20).

The former California governor recently addressed a conference in Algeria, stating: “There are two paths, of course, to protect our environment; one is to conserve energy, conservation is a very important subject and the other one is creating green energy.”

By 2030, Algeria plans to have invested $60 million into its renewable energy projects. And given that it’s a consistently sunny country, it opens the possibility for progress in solar energy, in addition to other environmentally friendly initiatives like smart buildings and desalination stations. Within the next 15 years, the goal is to make Algeria’s economy greener than ever.