In our 21st century world, plastic is everywhere, especially plastic bottles with the widely-known abbreviation of PET. PET refers to polyethylene terephthalate, a substance found in nearly 80% of the bottles on Earth. Polyethylene terephthalate is derived from oil and does not degrade in nature, and PET bottles are quickly becoming the mascot for the pollution that’s clogging the world’s landscapes and oceans. Since PET won’t decompose, the bottles have to be collected and recycled.
This overabundance of plastic bottles has turned out to be a goldmine for Czech artist Veronika Richterová. She uses PET bottles to create whimsical sculptures, which she has dubbed PET-ART. She’s been at it since 2004, when she learned that heated plastic became very malleable and could be easily molded and sculpted.
In addition to creating phenomenal works of beauty, Veronika and her partner, Michal Cihlář, systematically gathered information about PET bottles and published it in an article on her website called “A Tribute to PET Bottles.” They’ve also built a collection of more than 3,000 PET bottles from 76 countries. The duo photographs “popular” PET-ART by “anonymous creative individuals” who use old PET bottles in ingenious ways and then use the photos to inspire viewers to reconsider the waste they put into the environment and find creative, new uses for their discarded items. Her online gallery is also full of hundreds of her fantastic plastic creations.