Entrepreneurs create eco-friendly backpack made of recycled plastic and built-in solar panel

Mar 15, 2020

PetChila Smart may be the most eco-friendly, socially responsible backpack made in Peru. And that’s because this gray-colored knapsack is completely made of recycled bottles. 

But it doesn’t stop there. The creators behind it have brought something new under the sun: it has a built-in solar panel.

Entrepreneurs, Nancy Velásquez and Gianfranco Cabrera, are the minds behind this techy backpack.

Eco-friendly backpack for adventurers

Thanks to its natural energy source, the three LED light bulbs on PetChila are fueled for up to eight hours. Moreover, the energy absorbed by the solar panel also charges an internal battery which the person can then use to recharge their phone or any small-sized electronic device while on the go.

To make one of these backpacks, around 35 PET bottles are needed. 

PET stands for polyethylene terephthalate. This mouthful of a concept stands for a type of plastic that’s easier on the environment than polyethylene, the most common form of plastic. Backpacks are commonly made of polyethylene and thus, not so eco-friendly.

And the icing on the cake: to make a PetChila, underprivileged women collaborate alongside Velásquez and Cabrera in a workshop in Lima, Peru.

It’s the kind of backpack ideal for outdoor activities. Or, in locations where access to a steady power of electricity is limited, especially in rural communities.

Sources report that the backpack also includes a raincoat to keep you dry and the backpack too, while out and about.

How do I get one of these babies?

PetChila is sold by Peruvian Ecológica Comunicaciones. This business hosts a catalog of eco-friendly consumer products including handbags, backpacks, and jewelry.

Curious as to how much one of these backpacks is worth, I contacted them. After bouncing a few messages around, it was revealed that these neat knapsacks are sold at PEN$250 (about US$74). Ecológica Comunicaciones sends the PetChila to your door via Glovo or Mail On Bike (a last-mile delivery service from Peru).

I don’t live in Peru but if you do, or happen to be there, they sound like they’d be interesting to try out on your next camping trip.

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