Coca-Cola employees in Bulgaria recently showed how work and play can come together when they set a Guinness World Record for the largest glass bottle construction ever created.

At a conference in Varna, Coke’s commercial team came up with the creative idea to attempt the record and make a little piece of Coca-Cola – and global – history. Inspired by innovative glass bottle installations created by Coca-Cola HBC, the local bottler, the group of 550 colleagues got to work.

They rolled up their sleeves and weathered the winter chill to artfully assemble 72,933 glass Coca-Cola bottles in the classic contour shape – in under two-and-a-half hours.

Under close supervision of the Guinness World Record committee, the creation stretched across 250 square meters, crushing the previous record set in Tokyo, Japan, by tenfold. The returnable glass bottles were sent back to a local bottling plant for sterilization and reuse.

The team dedicated the achievement to a main community priority of the Coca-Cola system in Bulgaria: youth development. Varna was named the European Youth Capital of 2017, so the team used the record attempt to raise money for the city’s youth participation and social innovation initiatives.

"Setting a Guinness World Record is an impressive event on its own, but what makes an even bigger impact is the community support,” said Svetoslav Atanasov, general manager, Coca-Cola HBC Bulgaria. “We're happy to see our system employees working together in support of Varna's youth and the local community."

Stoyan Ivanov, Coca-Cola franchise operations manager for Bulgaria and Adria, added, "Seeing the system engaged behind setting records and making a difference for our communities makes me very proud. It is an honor to be part of a team that’s an inspiration to everyone for making the impossible possible and – even more importantly – doing it together as a system."