Abu Dhabi: He's eight years old. He prefers a paper jacket to a fancy cape. He's Abdul Mugeeth, the eco-warrior from Abu Dhabi.
His school was marking its environment day and the theme was ‘no plastic bags'. It set the young boy thinking. He came home and asked: "Mummy, what's bad about plastic?"
Andaleeb Mannan told him. Abdul Mugeeth was shocked and was spurred into action.
He delivered 150 paper bags made from Gulf News newspapers to grocery stores in his neighbourhood on Wednesday. And he plans to continue making 20-35 bags every week to keep up his green campaign.
Non-biodegradable plastic bags "hurt the planet", Abdul Mugeeth said.
The youngster made the bags with his mother after he came home from school. Their bags even have different "pockets", to make room for more wares.
He has a serious work-ethic when it comes to his mission. "I make about 50 bags in around two hours," Abdul Mugeeth said.
His family approached three stores in their Mina neighbourhood earlier in the week and urged owners to consider using the paper bags. The response was positive.
So Abdul Mugeeth dressed for success on Wednesday. On his visit to the grocery stores, the eco-crusader didn't wear a cape, but decided on a special "paper jacket".
Abdul Mugeeth decorated his unique outfit with the messages: "Stop using plastic bags" and "Save the environment". To drive the point home further, he used a Gulf News jute bag to carry his paper bags to the shops.
His mother hopes he will be an inspiration for other children. She said if every child made 10 paper bags a day, they could make a big difference.
"Ten bags take about 20 minutes to make," she said. "Instead of spending hours and hours in front of the television, it is better to help the community." Al Bahaar grocery store, which received some of Abdul Mugeeth's paper bags, is happy to be part of the initiative.
They hope to give out fewer plastic bags in the future.
Abdul Munir, an employee at the store, said around 100 plastic bags are used up by customers daily as many fail to bring their own.
"This is good, a small boy is doing so much," he said.
Does the eight-year-old have a message for Gulf News readers?
Abdul Mugeeth took a deep breath and said: "I want to tell everyone this — you should not use plastic bags, you have to save our planet, you should not spoil the environment."
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