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A team of University of Bahrain (UOB) students are playing their part to protect the environment and our future by rejuvenating a traditional Bahraini trade, long forgotten since the advent of plastics – pottery.
Ahmed Muneer, Ohood Muthana, Esraa Isa, Zainab AlHujairi and Zainab Ali, most of whom study sciences, led by chief executive Rahma Aleskafi sat one day at the University, brainstorming ideas for a product uniquely Bahraini that also spoke to their personal values of sustainability and environmental consciousness.
“We wanted to enter the INJAZ competition and create something good for the environment but also good for people,” Ohood said. “Ahmed had a ceramic mug in his hand and preferred to drink water out of that than from a metal bottle. That got us thinking about using clay bottles to carry our water around.”
Calling themselves, “Can Company” as a subtle reference to the shape of their bottles and their optimism for the future to come, the team got to work like a group of scientists would: with lots of research.
Clay Pots or “matkas” are used all over India to store water to this day, but because of the lack of effective stoppers as well as the labour-intensive process of crafting bottles versus the mechanised production of steel water bottles, mass adoption remains a pipe dream. To counter that problem, the team used a cork bottle stopper, creating a historic yet hip bottle that would not feel out-of-place at an uppity café.
The team went on to win the INJAZ “University Company for Best Social Impact 2019”Award, beating out nine other teams and decided to start selling their wares on Instagram and online.