10 Green Bottles…And Just What Eco Designers Did With Them Next

oliver General, Materials, Recycling / upcycling

We take so many of the materials we use and dispose of everyday for granted. But if we were just to stop for a moment and take a closer look, we might see incredible potential in the products we often call rubbish. What I love about the trend for upcycling wine bottles is that you can just picture the setting – a designers table, a good dinner, a late night, a few bottles of wine glinting in the candle light and then…suddenly… a flash of inspiration.

The product of these flashes is some ingenious products. Some of which I just had to share with you.

Studio Tord Boontje developed the ‘TranSglass’ range from recycled bottles, using ‘the relatively simple machines’ and work with a Guatemalan co-operative employing local artisans. They take empty bottles and transform them into  vases and jugs just by cutting them in different places. A set of empty beer bottles becomes a set of drinking glasses. It’s all very simple but then sometimes the simplest ideas are the best, and in this case extremely elegant.



Another really simple but brilliant creation is these grow bottles from Potting Shed Creations. The bottles have simply been cut near the top and the neck of the bottle turned upside down to create a stylish growing pot, and a great way to allow for drainage. All made from reclaimed restaurant wine bottles.



The idea that a bottle could form a ready-made lamp shade is one not lost on Jerry Kott. But what I really like about Jerry’s designs is the different and varied striped variations on offer. These bottle lamps (called Khrysalis Light Sculpture because the lights subtly flicker like a butterfly emerging from a chrysalis) come in a range of different striped colours. It’s impressive stuff I’m sure you’ll agree.



Following on from this idea of bottles as light, Erik Anderson of Gerardot & co., has created these beautiful exterior torches. These Tiki torches are for outdoor use and can be hung from clamps on the wall. Erik said he created the lamps after a fruitless search to find something similar. In the end he simply designed his own after looking in his recycling bin. Necessity really is the mother of invention. And of course, the bottles work just as well as simple vases for interior use.



Last, and probably most spectacular, is this ice tree chandelier by Paprika. The clear bottle glass  gives the piece a really crisp feel. And the shape almost resembles a certain seasonal tree although it’s far too early to be mentioning that. Still, ‘tis almost the season.



All these beautiful designs show exactly what you can do with a few old bottles and a bit of inspiration. So next time you pour the last few drops into your glass, have a think about what you could do with the empties.