Sometimes future tech isn’t about something we’ve never seen, but taking a second look at something we see every day. Coca Cola is doing a fun and practical giveaway in Vietnam that they plan to spread to the rest of Asia: giving away kits of replacement caps for plastic Coke bottles that turn them into reusable, useful objects. The kit comes with squirt gun, pencil sharpener, sprayer, paintbrush, hand weight, light, and other caps you can see in the video below.
Now, if you want to be cynical about all this: the caps are, of course, a promotional device created by advertising agency Ogilvy & Mather Beijing. Some of these reuses could turn the recyclable bottles into trash that will end up in landfills or waterways. The video begins with the question, “What if empty Coke bottles were never thrown away?” Neat idea, but how many miscellaneous bottle needs does a household really have? Vietnam and other Asian countries do have means of recycling plastic, though some of them are informal, so Coke isn’t saving the environment single-handedly through this program.
I still think it’s a clever idea. Frugal people have been reusing food and beverage containers for years (don’t get me started about the “bottle and jar bin” in my craft closet). Here are just a few of the ingenious uses for Coke bottles that people are already doing:
- greenhouse made of bamboo and bottles (Vietnam)
- roof for hut in community garden (UK)
- all sorts of pretty and/or useful DIY crafts
- a parking canopy (US)
- and even a solar “light bulb” for metal-roofed buildings, in the video below (Philippines)