Empty plastic beverage bottles are seen as trash for most. That is why when this ‘trash’ can be used to light homes of thousands living in developing and under developed countries, it is an important example of creativity that delivers.
This is what PepsiCo’s Liter of Light campaign achieved through it CSR (corporate social responsibility) initiative. Inviting everyone to join its campaign, Noha Hefny, Director of Corporate Affairs, PepsiCo said, “Our social campaign is targetted at people living in homes without power, and looking to make a difference in their lives.”
According to UNESCO figures, more than 1.5 billion people around the world currently have no access to electricity with a major chunk of these living in MENA countries. “Our campaign is specifically for Colombia, Indonesia, Mexico, Egypt, Pakistan and the Philippines” Ms Hefny informed.
Explaining further on the ‘Liter of Light’, Illac Angelo Diaz, Executive Director, Liter of Light, informed that the campaign used plastic bottles to develop solar-powered light. “This is cheap and relatively easy to assemble, where the main feature is just a plastic bottle,” he said.
The Liter of Light organization was formed in 2011 in the Philippines by MyShelter Foundation, a charity offering sustainable building solutions for storm-damaged communities. “We have also trained locals of areas where we work to use empty plastic bottles of Pepsi to make schools. Empty plastic bottles are filled with mud to also make walls and windows of schools because these people cannot afford schools made of cement, steel and glass,” said Mr Diaz.
The global success of the idea has led to many different projects around the world. In Egypt, Liter of Light will provide streetlights for rural villages as well as lighting 35 schools. But the biggest projects under the initiative are taking place in Colombia where Liter of Light has developed its own version of the technology to provide lighting that is 300 per cent more powerful than conventional yellow streetlights at just 2 per cent of the cost.
“We want to light up homes of those living in dark. Pepsico’s Liter of Light has taught us that the purest form of charity is to make yourself obsolete,” Ms Hefny aptly stated.