‘Upcycling’ bottles, bags into beautiful bouquets

Innovations showcased in the exhibition hall of the CleanTech 2013 17th Annual International Summit and Exhibition.

January 30, 2013 23:24
1 minute read.
FLOWERS MADE out of recycled materials are on display at the CleanTech exhibit in Tel Aviv

Recycled material flowers 370. (photo credit: Sharon Udasin))

Standing in a booth amid colorful plastic floral arrangements and an intricate bouquet of flowers made of used book pages, Orly Rostoker said that she was waiting for the bride who will walk down the aisle with that bouquet.

“I would love to find the bride,” Rostoker told The Jerusalem Post at the CleanTech exhibition hall in Tel Aviv on Tuesday.

Rostoker’s booth, for her still budding company RB Green Design, was one of dozens of firms, academic institutions and governments showcasing innovations in the exhibition hall of the CleanTech 2013 17th Annual International Summit and Exhibition.

Made of colored plastic bottles, her vibrant floral arrangements sat in the booth in vine-like and potted form, while disco balls of plastic bags hung from the ceiling and the book bouquet greeted visitors on a table.

“The library said it’s too yellow,” Rostoker said, pointing to the old, crumpled English pages of the bouquet. “My kids didn’t want to read it.”

All of Rostoker’s products are handmade by workers with special needs, and all the colors for the plastics come from a periphery area in the North, she explained. Rather than simply recycling materials – which just indicates reuse – Rostoker is “upcycling” her products – “generating something more desirable and more environmentally friendly out of used materials,” she said.

And because the bouquets do not expire as normal flowers would, customers have the option of returning them after use, as well.

Although putting these bouquets and arrangements together is a more expensive task than doing the same with real flowers, Rostoker said that she aims to keep the prices roughly the same. Thus far, in addition to creating many centerpieces for private clients, she has decorated a roundabout in Bat Yam as well as the temporary Coca- Cola recycling store that popped up in Tel Aviv in 2011.

“My father used to say that somebody junk is somebody else’s treasure,” Rostoker said. “They bloom and blossom forever.”

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