Shining a light on plastic recycling with Lumiere London

To encourage people to think more about plastic recycling, Veolia has joined forces with Artichoke to bring Litre of Light to the nation’s capital for the first time, as part of the spectacular Lumiere London light festival, from 14 – 17 January.

The Litre of Light exhibit, located at Central Saint Martins in London’s King’s Cross, emphasises how recycling and a simple technology can change thousands of people’s lives across the world.
Veolia is supporting the project as part of its goal to highlight the importance of plastic recycling with a particular focus this time on families. This is significant since the latest YouGov research[1], commissioned by Veolia, reveals how children aged 8-15 know more about recycling than their parents!

GB Parents[2]
(of children aged 18 and under)
UK Children[3]
(aged 8-15)
69% believe recycling is important
76% believe recycling is important
87% know they can recycle plastic water bottles
95% know they can recycle plastic water bottles
72% understand they can recycle empty yoghurt pots
81% understand they can recycle empty yoghurt pots

The Litre of Light exhibit, which is one of 30 artworks and installations in the festival, invites individuals and families alike to learn about issues relating to poverty, sustainability and climate change, and the positive impact innovation and recycling can have. The artwork has been created by reusing plastic bottles – that might otherwise have ended up in landfill – to create a safe and sustainable source of light for people living without electricity in their homes.
Richard Kirkman, Technical Director, Veolia UK and Ireland comments, “When it comes to recycling plastics practice makes perfect, because despite knowing all this we still lose 50% of all bottles to landfill! We want to encourage the nation, regardless of their age, to think twice about whether they can reuse their bottles for another drink, or turn them into something completely different altogether. And if that’s not possible remind them they can be recycled too.”
As part of the project, up to 500 London schoolchildren are taking part in a series of school workshops, learning about the Litre of Light technology, resources and recycling around the world. They’re also discovering how to make their own light bulb from a recycled two litre plastic bottle, building on from their recycling knowledge to address wider environmental topics, such as up-cycling.
The light bulbs created by the school children form part of the Litre of Light exhibit, designed by artist Mick Stephenson with the help of Central Saint Martins’ students. Litre of Light is located at Central Saint Martins, Granary Square, King’s Cross London as part of Lumiere London which is open to the public.
Richard Kirkman continues, “Come and see this fantastic exhibition and have your own light bulb moment about recycling more plastics, which should be a New Year’s resolution for everyone in 2016.”
For more information on Lumiere London, 14th-17th January visit

[1] Research carried out by YouGov, December 2015 [2] Research carried out by YouGov amongst parents of children aged 18 and under, December 2015 [3] Research carried out by YouGov amongst children aged 8  to 15, December 2015