There’s a bulb in Philippines, this bulb doesn’t run on electricity. All you need is a little water and a teaspoonful of chlorine. It’s not a light bulb by definition, it’s just a plastic bottle. Confused? Well, you’ll be amazed to know that these plastic bottles are illuminating more than 700 houses in Manila today and this number is growing steadily.

Very green, yet very simple. It just goes to show that technology doesn’t always have to use laser beams, LEDs, Java programming and fairy dust from Venus.

Turning waste into energy

What happens to the bottle once the Coke is finished? Garbage, isn’t it? But now this ‘garbage’ can be turned into a source of light for man. A used bottle, some water and a few drops of chlorine is all that’s needed to harness the suns energy and radiate it throughout the house.

Designed by MIT students

These Filipino households have trouble meeting their energy bills and therefore love the idea of capturing sunlight. The MIT students who designed the ‘Solar Bottle Bulb’ know how to convert a ray of sunshine into a ray of hope. Not only do these families have access to light throughout the day but using the bottled light saves our planet from the effects of global warming.

The strength of this technology is its feasibility. It requires almost no investment; in fact it makes use of what people usually throw away – old plastic bottles. Using everyday household items like water and chlorine, this technology is not only cost-effective but it also makes use of waste to generate clean energy.

Speaking of feasibility

All those bottles that would have eventually made their way to the land fill are now being recycled and used to further save more energy. Moreover, the bleach does not corrode or damage the bottles and one single ‘bottle bulb’ runs for a considerable amount of time.

Just think about the amount of energy and resources saved when people stop buying new light bulbs every second month and use that much less electricity.

It’s an idea worth spreading

Think about a world without plastic. Wouldn’t it be fantastic? You’d probably say truly fantastic and absolutely unrealistic because after all, plastic serves many purposes from packaging food stuffs to building spaceships. However, concepts such as the Solar Bottle Bulb bridge the gap between the ‘ideal’ and the ‘feasible’.

The MyShelter Foundation has been instrumental in the introduction of the Solar Bottle Bulbs in Manila and is working on other eco-friendly projects like using old plastic bottles to build houses. It is about a world where plastic is no longer a necessary evil. Instead there is a lot of good that you can get out of it.

Image by katerha via Flickr (cc)
23.thumbnail Philippines uses plastic bottles to generate electricity

About Trishna


is a tech blogger and writer, constantly diving deep in the technology world. She enjoys writing on the different shades of tech – whether it is gadgets, apps, software or devices. When she is not writing or excavating technological findings throughout the internet, she is busy checking the latest apps and gadgets for herself…