Caroline Chaptini, Environmental Activist

Miziara, Lebanon

"I never planned to set a world record. I was trying to make a difference. It all started when I decided to drink a lot of water. I wanted to lose some extra pounds and was told drinking a large amount of water everyday would help. A few weeks later, I ended up with so many plastic bottles. I called a few recycling organizations but no one would come collect them. It was around Christmas time so I decided to use the bottles, 500 of them, to build my Christmas tree at home with my daughter. The following year, I thought why not build a much larger Christmas tree. I asked people to bring me their empty plastic bottles. I asked celebrities and influencers on Instagram to spread my message. A few volunteers joined me and together we built in December 2019 in Chekka, in the north of Lebanon, the biggest Christmas tree in the world made of 140,000 plastic bottles. The tree was 28 meters

long. I applied for the Guinness World Record and won. That motivated me to do more. This time I wanted to pay tribute to the holy month of Ramadan by building the largest crescent using 1,000,0000 bottle caps. The journey was not easy - the caps were blown away by the wind more than once and we had to reattach the pieces every time. But we did it and got the World Guinness World Record again (beating Japan!). I donated all materials to the Red Cross so they can sell the plastic. After the Beirut blast, I wanted to create something positive, to give people hope. I partnered with Green Community, an environmental NGO,

to build the Lebanese flag, the largest flag in the world built of recyclable materials stretching over 300 square meters. That was the most challenging of all - parts of the flag were blown by the wind more than once. It was defeating at times, but the support from the

community kept me going. I applied for the Guinness World Record and got it again. Achieving three world records in one year was great, but if I could inspire people to recycle their plastic bottles, then I have done my job. As a single mom, I hope to show my daughter how to be a source of positivity for others. I can’t stop now. Stay tuned for my next world record." Caroline Chaptini, Environmental Activist

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