PET bottles can also be used to produce lamps. And how? The Spanish designer Alvaro Catalán de Ocón shows us how. He designed stylish lamps around the used bottles as part of a project in Bogota in Columbia.
The small runabout car Opel Adam is not only produced in Germany, it also offers a number of sustainable features. Old bottle caps from PET bottles have been made into car bumpers. Because the caps form the basis of a plastic granulate which is used to make, among other things, bumper mountings and headlamp housing.
Picture source: © GM Company
The Capped Out Chair from BRC Design consists of hundreds of colourful bottle caps. Benjamin Rollins Caldwell developed this creative armchair with great attention to detail. The former bottle caps are attached together with zip ties over a steel construction giving the chair its special structure and colourful appearance.
The Czech artist Veronika Richterová shows just what you can do with PET bottles if you have creative and innovative ideas. She makes fascinating sculptures out of used PET bottles – animals, plants, chandeliers, sofas and even a bra are included in her collection. She enjoys working with PET bottles because of their transparency and lightness and also of course because they are available everywhere. Richterová's PET art has already been on display for visitors to admire in exhibitions throughout Europe.
It was originally developed for use on US Navy ships, nowadays it is a classic design piece for dining rooms: the "Navy Chair" by Emeco. After 66 years, the company has decided to present the chair for indoors and outdoors in a new material and instead of using aluminium, to use recycled PET bottles. 111 bottles are delivered by Coca-Cola to make one chair. The new version from 60 percent recycled material is, thanks to PET, not only stylish but also environmentally friendly.
Used PET bottles can deliver even more – for example a light source for simple housings. How does it work? The idea comes from students from the University of St. Gallen. The plastic bottle is filled with water and a small amount of bleach and then installed in the roof of the hut so that half the bottle juts out above the top. The water in the bottle now diffuses the daylight in the entire room below the bottle. The illuminating power of the bottle is equivalent to a 55 watt light bulb.
Honduras, 2005. A poor village in the north of the province Yoro. A funny German guy walks around with brochures. He shows pictures of neat, colourful houses to poor people, the unemployed, day labourers who live in temporary, run-down huts. "You could also have one of these", he announces to the amazed village dwellers. It isn't much easier to believe him when he explains what the houses are made of and the conditions required to build them: you need lots of people. They need to have a lot of time to spare. And you need empty plastic bottles to build them.
It sounds incredible and yet so simple. With the help of the sun's rays and PET bottles, water is sterilized and made drinkable. The water is filled in transparent PET or glass bottles which are laid in the sun for 6 hours. In this time, the UV rays of the sun kill the germs that cause diarrhoea. The so-called SODIS method helps to prevent diarrhoea and so saves human lives. This is urgently required because over 4,000 children die every day from diarrhoeal diseases.
The Taiwanese architect Arthur Huang developed a method in which plastic waste is moulded into hollow forms and can therefore be used again as building material. The walls of the "EcoArk" building in Taipeh consist of 1.5 million of these shapes.