Turkey’s Designnobis turns plastic bottles into solar-powered lanterns

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If you live in the Middle East, surely you are accustomed to seeing plastic bottles lining city streets and even far-flung desert areas. While a tiny fraction of these might be recycled in some countries, most of them will languish for years in informal and formal landfills.

A young firm from Turkey, Designnobis wants to turn them into lanterns!

Unlike other solar-powered lanterns that are currently on the market, Infinite Light treats waste (plastic bottles) as a valuable resource, which helps to drive down its overall carbon or environmental footprint.

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It could also potentially drive down the cost, since users would only have to purchase a kit of parts, which includes a flexible solar panel that is placed inside a transparent bottle (for more efficient solar gain), small batteries that store the daytime energy absorbed by the solar panel, and a wire frame that provides the lamp’s portability.

“With Infinite Light, we aimed to create a sustainable lamp with minimum cost,” the designers at Designnobis told Fastco Design. “The lighting unit does not require any infrastructure, and it is a ready-to-use package that can be placed in a discarded plastic bottle.”

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Related: WakaWaka provides solar-powered lighting for Syrian refugees

Albeit just a concept at this stage, this design would meet a tremendous need in the Middle East in particular. Especially now during summer, power outages are rampant, electricity is scarce, and millions of people – Palestinians, Syrians, and Iraqis most notably – have been displaced from their homes due to political conflict.

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Which means there are millions of people who lack access to basic lighting, which can literally save lives in certain situations. For example, women and children become targets of sexual violence in refugee camps, a terrible crime that is particularly common in areas that have insufficient lighting.

Such a lantern, which is super easy to carry and hang in homes or offices, or donkeys even, thanks to the brilliant but simple wire frame, could also go a long way to reducing the plastic pollution problem in the Middle East North Africa region.

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Plus, widespread availability or distribution and use of the Infinite Lights could help shape the way that people view plastic. Rather than view it as trash, it should be seen as a free and valuable resource that can be recycled for other meaningful and important uses.

:: Fastco Exist

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