Israeli Artist Makes Christmas Tree From 5,480 Recycled Plastic Bottles

© Israel Ministry of Tourism. The recycled Christmas tree in Haifa.

Devastating fires that burned 5,000 hectares of forest in the area haven't kept Haifa, Israel's third-largest city, from being able to put up a massive Christmas tree in the center of town. It helps, of course, that the tree is made entirely of recycled plastic bottles -- 5,480 of them.

While the holiday project was planned by Israeli designer Hadas Itzcovitch and her father, artist Ernest Itzcovitch, well in advance of the tragic Carmel fire, it has taken on extra symbolism in the wake of the blaze, reminding people of the 5 million trees lost in addition to its intended environmental and social message.

Lit By LED Lights
The bottles were collected by local residents -- by "Haifa people, all of them, the Jewish, the Muslims, and the Christians," Hadas Itzcovitch made sure to point out to The Telegraph -- with the support of the local municipality, and donated to the Itzcovitchs for their project. The 38-foot tree is illuminated by energy-efficient LED lights and held together by other pieces of recycled plastic.

"This tree that is made of recycled bottles represents the fact that we can live in harmony with the environment," Haifa resident Yaron Openhhime told the Chinese news channel CNTV.

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Tags: Christmas | Christmas Trees | Holidays | Israel | Plastics | Recycling