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How an anti-waste challenge went viral in Iran

A campaign to get ordinary people involved in devising solutions to Iran's growing waste problem has gone viral.
Iranian workers offload waste plastic, collected from Tehran, from a pick-up truck in the southern outskirts of the Iranian capital on February 25, 2012. The International Monetary Fund estimates that Iran's 2011 Growth Domestic Product (GDP) was 480 billion dollars at the official exchange rate, around 2.5 percent higher than the previous year.  AFP PHOTO/BEHROUZ MEHRI (Photo credit should read BEHROUZ MEHRI/AFP/Getty Images)

With annual waste generation of more than 16 million tons and over 60 million tons of construction waste, Iran is said to be among the top 10 consumers of plastic in the world with more than 10 million tons of plastic being used in the country's packaging industry every year.

Waste collection costs the country some 370 trillion rials (nearly $8.8 billion) alone, excluding the damage it inflicts on the environment and public health.

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