The Movement Making Plastic Waste Work… As Solar Lights

Like world-saving Wombles ‘making good use of the things that they find’ (a reference that will be entirely wasted on younger readers), an initiative known as Liter of Lights has realised possibly the ultimate reimagining of discarded plastic bottles, by transforming them into solar lights.

A global movement that uses inexpensive, readily available materials to provide people with limited or no access to electricity high-quality solar lighting, Liter of Light gather up the pesky plastic bottles that all too rapidly make their way into landfill and the world’s oceans, and combine them water, galvanised steel, bleach and sunlight to create illuminating genius.

Bringing light where there was only dark

Utilising a simple circuit and opensource technology, the lithium phosphate battery delivers 12-16 hours of light every day, opperates automatically at nightfall, and even features an on/off switch.

Already, some 350,000 bottle-based solar lights have been installed in the homes, businesses and streets of marginalised communities around the world, and the members of those communities taught how to construct them for themselves.

Transforming problem plastic waste into a hero

Unsurprisingly, this enlightening (I’ll stop with the poor-quality puns at his juncture) enterprise has already garnered awards, whilst the opensource technology employed has been recognised by the UN and adopted for use in some UNHCR camps.

A better, smarter way to tackle the plastic bottle problem we have yet to see, but as we now live in a world of waste where necessity is the mother of invention, maybe other would-be innovators will now also see the light. Damn, sorry.

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