- Title: Lebanese initiative turns 120,000 plastic bottles into Christmas tree
- Date: 20th December 2019
- Summary: (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) CREATOR OF CHRISTMAS TREE, CAROLINE SHABTINI, SAYING: "I registered with Guinness (World Records) with 120,000 bottles, but it actually took 129,000 bottles. It is 28.5 metres. I did some research and found that last year, Mexico had done one which was in the Guinness Book of World Records that was 27.4 meters and 98,000 bottles. So, I think in Lebanon we can do better." VARIOUS OF LIGHT DISPLAY READING (English): "2020" / VISITORS TAKING PICTURES NEAR DISPLAY VARIOUS OF CHRISTMAS TREES MADE OUT OF LIGHT BULBS SIGN READING (English): "I love Chekka" BOTTLES ON TREE (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) VOLUNTEER, YOUSSEF SHAMI, SAYING: "The tree that you can see here is the biggest proof that we are taking care of our environment and we encourage everyone to do the same. We are really happy that the whole city was working together hand in hand, because we are all stronger together."
- Embargoed: 3rd January 2020 09:48
- Keywords: Bottles Christmas Lebanon Plastic Tree festive holidays recycling sustainability
- Location: CHEKKA, LEBANON
- City: CHEKKA, LEBANON
- Country: Lebanon
- Topics: Arts / Culture / Entertainment
- Reuters ID: LVA003BAX3IAH
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: A Christmas tree over 28-metres high rose over the Lebanese city of Chekka this week, made entirely of plastic bottles.
Caroline Shabtini and members of her community used 120,000 plastic bottles to build the tree, hoping to send a message on the importance of recycling.
Shabtini began collecting bottles last year and had made a small Christmas tree out of 500 bottles for her daughter to enjoy at home. But friends and family who all saw the tree encouraged Shabtini to make it even bigger this holiday season.
She spent the better half of 2019 gathering empty plastic bottles, and created a social media hashtag for people to donate them instead of throwing them away.
At 28.5 meters high, and with roughly 129,000 bottles in the structure, Shabtini hopes the environmentally-friendly initiative can earn her a spot on the Guinness book of world records.
Once the season is over, Shabtini will send the plastic bottles to a recycling factory and the bottle caps will be donated to a Lebanese non-governmental organisation named 'L'ecoute'.
(Production: Walid Saleh, Imad Creidi, Ayat Basma)
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