Upcycling winner: When turning water bottles into a bag gets you top prize in an art competition

Tan Mei Zi
Ang Li Qin was rewarded with RM5,000 in cash and an internship opportunity with Spritzer thanks to her creation. — Picture courtesy of Spritzer

PETALING JAYA, Oct 9 — College student Ang Li Qin proves that with a little creativity, one man’s rubbish can become another person’s fashion accessory.

Using the bases of two 9.5 litre water bottles, the 20-year-old crafted a unique yet functional sling tote that she has titled, “Scum-bag”, an apt pun for the project which sees trash being transformed into an entirely new product.

Ang’s talent landed her the grand prize in Spritzer’s Eco Art Challenge, which called upon university students to express their creativity by using rubbish as a medium.

In an interview with Malay Mail, the young Malaysian said her win was a big surprise.

“My lecturer encouraged me to participate in the competition. It was my first design competition and I was really excited to take part.

“My family and friends put in a lot of effort to vote for my entry photo but I did not expect that I could be the grand prize winner,” she said via email.

During the design process, Ang wanted to create something portable and easy to use with the water bottles, adding that it was important that the end product could be used by anyone.

Pouring effort into the project took a physical toll on her as she even scalded herself with hot glue while attaching the bases of the water bottles with a zipper.

Her hard work eventually paid off as Ang received RM5,000 in cash, certificates, and an internship opportunity with Spritzer as part of her grand prize.

Outside of the competition, the New Era Institute of Vocational and Continuing Education student also practices upcycling and recycling in her daily life to lend a helping hand to Mother Nature.

Malaysian students were asked to create a creative yet functional art piece using recycled Spritzer water bottles for the competition. — Picture courtesy of Spritzer

“I always wait until I reach my hostel and that’s where I throw all my used water bottles into the recycling can.

“I also keep old newspapers and upcycle it for my art assignments as needed.”

Ang hopes to see more initiatives and competitions being directed towards Malaysian youths to foster environmental awareness, adding that knowledge about green habits such as recycling and upcycling is growing amongst her peers.

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