Pet Lamp Project - turning plastic bottles into lighting

Pet Lamp started in Spain to encourage designers to put ubiquitous waste plastic bottles to creative use. Now it's on the way to becoming a global sustainable lighting project.

By Abby Trow
Pet Lamps are made in Spain, Colombia and now Chile by artisan communities

Pet Lamp offers the chance to buy beautiful hand-made lamps that combine a waste plastic bottles with sustainable fibres such as straw, wool, rattan and wicker. Products are made by artisan communities in Colombia and now Chile, with plans to expand the project to other countries. Pictured above: Colourful Pet lights made by the Eperara-Siapidara people of north west Colombia. Prices from around 250 euros.

It you're looking for lovely eco-friendly lighting produced by artisans using very little energy other than elbow grease, take a look at Pet Lamp's three collections.

Pet Lamp is a project that started in Spain in 2011 to encourage designers to make beautiful objects using plastic bottles so they don't end up in landfill.

Milions of plastic bottles are recycled into fibres used for carpets, polyester, cushion filler and in place of down in winter puffer jackets. However, the Spanish designers behind Pet Lamp didn't want to have to send bottles back to a factory to be broken down into chips or fibre, as energy is needed to do this.

Rather they wanted to use the bottles as they are, and they had the idea of using them to form the core of a pendant light.


The Guambionos collection of Pet lamps is characterized by the use of vibrantly coloured wool
A shade hand-woven from straw by the Eperara-Siapidara people is attached to a plastic water bottle
Pet Lamps look amazing in a group

In 2012 they made contact with designers in Colombia, who in turn started a project working with weavers in the remote village of Eperara-Siapidara in Pacific north-west Colombia. These people have long woven fabric from straw they dye in bright colours, and they went on to make an exuberant range of Pet lamps that is available to buy.

SiStudio also invited villagers in Guambianos in the foothills of the Colombian Andes to make a collection of lights using wool in the vivid colours they use to make their clothing textiles.

And staying in Latin America, last year the Pet Lamp teamed up with SiStudio in SantiagoChile, an industrial design studio that works with recycled materials.

It in turn collaborated with weavers in the Chilean village of Chimbarongo to hand-make a collection of Pet lamps using sustainable rattan. That range, which features tiered shades and is now available to buy, was shown at the Rossana Orlandi gallery in Milan during the recent  Milan Furniture Fair.


Pet lamps made by villagers in the Chilean village of Chimbarongo using rattan
Pet lamp chandeliers are delightful.
Weaver Raul Briones in Chimbarongo, Chile, with his tiered lamps
Lamps woven in wool by artisans in Guambianos in the Colombian Andes
Chimbarongo collection of Pet lights from Chile, on show during the Milan Furniture Fair week

Pet Lamp organizers Alvaro Catalán de Ocón, Enrique Romero de la Llana and Sebastián Betanzo want to take Pet lamp to other countries, so local skilled weaving communities can produce more collections that demonstrate what a useful bit of kit an empty plastic water bottle can be. 

To order a Pet lamp make contact via the website.

E14 lamp holder max 25W. 220V. CE certificate.