Fashionable & Functional: Toward a plastic-free Jordan

By Sarah Nabulsi

Zain Khatib, a tenth grader, designs tote bags in hopes of advocating for the use of reusable bags. “It’s time to quit our reliance on plastic,” she asserts.

Mixed with cultural pride

For some, their homes are within the four walls that embrace them when they come back from exhausting days of work. For others, like Zain, their homes go beyond those four walls; it is their country, and they strive to ensure its cleanliness.

“Every day we refuse to drop a crumble in our homes, every week we vacuum our carpets and floors, and every month we take our cars to the mechanic,” notes Zain. “But some people don’t care as much for their country, even though it is a home for all of us too,” she adds.

Baked in community

Zain’s tote bag personal school project aims to raise awareness about an environmental catastrophe while simultaneously interconnecting with our community; her designs touch upon the culture and beauty of Jordan. “My project is all about going green with this tote bag and thus having a no-waste shopping spree!” explains the 15-year-old.

“Our country is our home,” states the teen, which is why she is eager to spread the message on sustaining its beauty. “We should think twice before choosing disposable bags over reusable ones.” Zain points out.

Sprinkled with resistance

Despite Zain’s artistic tote bags, the process of their creation was met with some resistance. “I was belittled for my age and some did not take me seriously,” she says, adding, “I am always trying to convince people that the death of our environment is ultimately our death,but unfortunately some don’t agree.”

But Zain says seeing people use her tote bags makes her journey absolutely worth it and adds more value to the lessons she learned: the importance of motivation, commitment and passion.

Support Zain’s line

You can support Zain’s initiative by purchasing her tote bags. Money collected will be donated to an environmental institute. To connect with Zain, email her at