How to make lamps with wire from PET bottles

In the summer of 2011, during a visit to Colombia, Álvaro Catalán de Ocón He was invited to be part of a very attractive project focusing on the reuse of PET bottles. Hélène Le Drogou, psychologist and activist concerned about the plastic waste which pollutes the Colombian Amazon, invited him to give his point of view as an industrial designer on this issue. As part of a group of creatives participating in this project, he realized that the pollution generated by the plastic bottles we use every day is a problem that affects us globally.

PET lamp.  Lamps with wire from PET bottles

So he decided to start a project that would address this global problem from a design point of view. The way to approach it was to associate it with an ancient artisanal resource: the textile tradition. There it started PET lamp.

Manufacture of lamps with wire from PET bottles

The idea was therefore to transform an object with a short and specific life expectancy into a product enriched with the cosmogony of the local culture. Colombia, thanks to its enormous cultural wealth, was the ideal place to develop the first phase of this project. Thanks to the advice of Artesanías de Colombia and the sponsorship of Coca Cola, in August 2012 they created a workshop for craftsmen from Cauca displaced by the guerrillas. Seen from afar, due to its logical complexity, it seemed like an impossible task. However, much of the magic of this project was seeing how a puzzle of seemingly endless pieces was put together until it was finally presented to the market for the first time at the 2013 Milan Furniture Fair.



A cylindrical ornament was designed, made of iron and later machined, like a black hole from which the various cables fall. The choice of cable is essential to naturally connect the tab of the shade to the cylinder and for the various electrical components. For this, a textile cable, made especially for them, in bright colors.

How to make lamps with string from plastic bottles

How to make lamps with string from bottles

They wanted to maintain the prominence of something as characteristic of plastic bottles as the lid and neck. The transparency of this last part makes it possible to make visible an engraved iron ring, giving the weight, the identification of the lamp and allowing the customer to know the origin and the history of each lamp.


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The project is expanding to more Latin American countries and has even reached the African continent already.