We've seen similar magic worked on glass containers, tin cans, and, of course, Mason jars.
Now, Coca-Cola, in partnership with the Chinese arm of ad agency Ogilvy & Mather, has teamed up to breathe new life into empty vessels.
Naturally, the vessels in this instance are plastic Coke bottles.
Dubbed 2nd Lives, the initiative aims to encourage creative upcycling through the distribution of 40,000 special — in signature Coca-Cola red, naturally — screw-on bottle caps throughout Vietnam before launching in Thailand and Indonesia. The caps will be given out for free to customers with soda purchases. As you can see, each different plastic topper — there are 16 in total — provides the empty bottle with a completely new and totally useful function: pencil sharpener, whistle, bubble blower, pepper mill, soap/shampoo pump, tabletop condiment dispenser, water gun, paintbrush, hand weights, and more.
So is fighting plastic with plastic the best solution?
And when the novelty of having a super-cool DIY soda bottle pencil sharpener wears off, won't it just end up in a landfill anyway? Is 2nd Lives creating more waste by generating plastic doodads that, like the bottles they adorn, will eventually be thrown away?
You could argue that, yes. However, it would seem that the ultimate and most admirable goal of 2nd Lives isn't necessarily about straightforward waste diversion or stamping out plastics. It's about getting people, particularly people in areas where plastic recycling is scarce/non-existent, to view spent soda bottles in a completely different light — as normally chucked-without-second-through objects that just happen to be brimming with potential well beyond their initial use. It's about thinking outside of the bottle.
The campaign has managed to generate some strong reactions since being launched. Any thoughts? Love the message of creative reuse but hate that it involves more plastic? Do you think it has the potential to make a real positive impact in the markets that it's targeting?

Via [Designboom], [AdAge]

Matt Hickman ( @mattyhick ) writes about design, architecture and the intersection between the natural world and the built environment.

Clever Coke caps transform spent soda bottles into squirt guns and shampoo dispensers
Coca-Cola partners with Ogilvy & Mather for 2nd Lives, an upcycling initiative that gives new life to empty soda bottles that would normally be chucked.