Photo Pierrot ©
Social distancing measures meant no one could help Caroline Chaptini realise her goal of creating the world’s largest bottle cap mosaic. However, this setback or the adverse weather conditions, which forced her to re-start several times, didn’t stop the determined Lebanese environmental activist from earning a second nod from the Guinness World Records. Instead, she single-handedly put together the two-dimensional mosaic depicting an image of a crescent and stars together, a feat that took around 160 hours. And by using up a complete space area of 196.94 sqm in a public park near her parents’ home in Miziara, north Lebanon, she broke the previous record of 108.568 sqm, which was achieved in Japan in 2019.
“The original plan for this project was to involve volunteers from all over the country and have it displayed in a large gathering. But due to social distancing measures, I had to execute the project on my own in around 160 hours. Severe weather conditions forced me to restart multiple times. This is my gift for Lebanon, the environment and the kids of the Arab world,”Chaptini, who is a mother herself, said.
According to the Saudi English daily Arab News, Chaptini said she decided to create the artwork featuring a white background, big and small stars and a blue crescent moon, the symbol of Ramadan, to celebrate the Eid Al-Fitr holiday that follows the Holy Month. Chaptini, who is a Christian, wanted to highlight the unity of Lebanese people from all religions and sects.
To accomplish her goal, the passionate green campaigner asked her social media followers to collect bottle caps a couple of moths ago. Chaptini started to receive thousands of these from Lebanon and neighbouring countries like Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Qatar, turning the initiative into a regional environmental cause. She managed to collect around 400,000 commercially available caps in differing shades of blue and white. While Chaptini glued the outer outline of the mosaic so that it could withstand the high winds and weather conditions, the stunning piece still got demolished four times throughout the process, obliging her to re-do the mosaic on her own every time.
All the bottle caps were sent to a recycling company, which in turn generated funds that were donated to a children's cancer organisation. The Kids First Association looks after children with cancer who do not have the financial means to seek proper treatment.
Chaptini earned her first Guinness World Records title for creating the tallest plastic bottle sculpture, a Christmas tree measuring 28.1 metres tall, made using 129,000 bottles. Achieved in another northern Lebanese town, Chekka, she was able to enter the inspiring record-breaking community with the help of the municipality, volunteers and supporters.