- Title: Lebanese initiative turns 120,000 plastic bottles into Christmas tree
- Date: 20th December 2019
- Summary: CHEKAA, LEBANON (DECEMBER 16, 2019) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF VOLUNTEERS SORTING PLASTIC BOTTLES PLASTIC BOTTLES CHEKAA, LEBANON (DECEMBER 16, 2019) (REUTERS) (NIGHT SHOTS) VARIOUS OF CHRISTMAS TREE MADE OUT OF PLASTIC BOTTLES (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) CREATOR OF CHRISTMAS TREE, CAROLINE SHABTINI, SAYING: "Last year, around two months before Christmas, I had started drinking a lot of water because I heard it helps with weight-loss, so I started collecting the plastic bottles and putting them in the storage under the stairs. I collected around 500 bottles but I felt bad throwing them away. We don't have any recycling efforts here so instead I did some research and made a small tree for my daughter at home consisting of 50 bottles. Then this year, when people saw it, they said to me: Why not make it bigger?" VARIOUS OF BOTTLES ON TREE / TREE VARIOUS OF VISITORS OF CHRISTMAS MARKET WHERE TREE IS ON DISPLAY / CHILDREN PLAYING (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) CREATOR OF CHRISTMAS TREE, CAROLINE SHABTINI, SAYING: "It took twenty days to finish. There were a lot of people helping me out from Chekka. You don't know how helpful the people here are. People aged three to 60 years old are working. All the NGOs in Chekka also helped out."
- 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: LVA001BAX3IAH
- 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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