Can recycling really enlighten the merriest of moments?

Submitted by admin on Mon, 2011-11-28 19:49

Can recycling really enlighten the merriest of moments?
NYSE's Christmas tree on Broad Street
Can recycling really enlighten the merriest of moments?
The Pond by City in New York at Bryant Park

During the holiday season and till the 15th of January, the City of Lights organizes ‘Paris lights up Paris.’  The event is directed by designer Fabrice Peltier and funded by the Coca-Cola Enterprise.    The event’s purpose is to promote recycling during a time of particularly high production of wastes from packaging.  More particularly, Fabrice Peltier’s goal is to demonstrate how creative thinking can steer wastes away from the trash bin and back into the production line directly. 

Doing so, Peltier selected a packaging with a low 50% recycling rate: bottles made of pet. Rue de Richelieu and Place André Malraux were dressed up with Peltier’s creations, both located in the 1st Arrondissement near the Louvre.  200 yards of Rue de Richelieu received 22 chandeliers hanging from 10 diagonal rods all composed of multicoloured plastic bottles.

And on Place André Malraux, four 12 feet high Christmas trees were erected around the fountain.  The result is elegant at night time when all is lit up with Hotel du Louvre’s façade lit up in red as a backdrop.

SHIRALY’s thoughts:
The three partners’ recycling effort is welcome when political leaders in Copenhaguen just shied away from commitments they consider as being essential.  However, the location, the setup and the scale of the event seem totally unaligned with the event’s purpose.


Coca-Cola Enterprise should take a stronger stand at replacing pet bottles by something friendlier to the environment.  With the 80K€ budget it dedicated to the event according to Peltier’s website, Coca-Cola Enterprise could have certainly imagined a show both: more elegant during day time and aligned with the brand’s lifestyle ambition! 

Peltier’s position seems pragmatic and certainly stems from the fact that packaging will not evolve rapidly!  As a result, the man developed some interesting ideas.  His creations are displayed in his showroom the Designpack Gallery on rue de Richelieu, the other place selected for the event to be displayed at.

But do we really want to decorate our interiors with recycled plastic bottles, even though they look good when lit up?

It is not clear what the Paris city hall’s position is when it organises an event that does not seem to make a strong statement or is not destined to entertain.  Place André Malraux is pretty and elegant in itself.  It is off the beaten paths.  And because it is surrounded by heavy traffic, pedestrians are more likely to walk passed the event, and drivers in their cars will not even know what the event is about.  The office at Paris City hall would have been wiser to give the event a different dimension and be inspired by the Christmas trees on Broad Street, at the Rockefeller Centre or at  Bryant Park in New York City.

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