Have you ever wondered how you can cut down on your impact on the earth and recycle your plastics in smarter ways?
If so, you’ve come to the right place, because we’re giving you 5 creative alternative uses for your recycled plastics, so they don’t all have to end up in landfill.
Plastic bottles have that rigid bottom to them that makes them stand upright whether full or empty.
To make desk organizers like pen or pencil holders, simply cut the top of an empty, clean plastic bottle off. Sand around the edge to make sure it’s not too sharp (you may even want to stick a piece of tape over the edge to really prevent lacerations).
Paint or decorate the outside of the bottle as you wish, and it’s as easy as that!
Your new container will look great on your desk, especially if you make a couple or different organizers to add some color to your desk!
Perhaps even easier to create than a desktop organizer is a flower vase from a recycled plastic bottle. Any size bottle works great for this project, but do make sure it is clean before you begin.
No need to even cut the bottle here – just cover it with a creative fabric and some ribbons or buttons and you’ve got a beautiful new vase for flowers.
Recycled sweaters work perfectly to make a “sleeve” to go around the bottles to add a winter touch to your home when it gets cold outside. Or use bright colors to liven things up in the summer.
All you have to do is cinch the top of the fabric around the opening of the bottle, fill the bottle with water and add some flowers!
Although you can’t technically recycle plastic shopping bags, as in you shouldn’t toss them into the recycling bin, they are still a plastic product and still at least deserve to be reused instead of thrown away.
Instead of the typical use of them as garbage bags in small trash cans around the house, try something new and creative. Flatten out 6-8 layers of plastic bags (each bag is 2 “layers” – and can be folded into 6 or 8 on its own), lay it between two pieces of parchment paper and put an iron over it for about 15 seconds, keeping the iron constantly moving.
When you lift the plastic out (be careful, it will be hot!), you’ll have a piece of plastic “fabric” that you can easily stitch into new bags. You can make reusable shopping totes, cosmetic bags, purses or anything you heart desires, really!
Plastic bottles of all kinds can be turned into wonderful bird feeders with hardly any effort at all!
Start by soaking the bottle in warm water to remove the label, then poke two holes in the bottom of the bottle directly across from one another. Run a thin wooden dowel through the two holes to make a perch for the birds.
Cut an upside-down “U” shape above the two holes that the dowel goes through and bend the flaps upward to make something similar to an awning. Then poke two small holes just below the bottle cap to run a wire through to use as a hanger.
Fill the bottle with some bird seed and hang it from a tree branch and voila! You have a 100% recycled bird feeder. Now just sit back and enjoy the birds that it will bring to your yard!
Using the top half of a bottle that you’ve maybe cut off from a different project that uses the bottom half, you can create beautiful and unique candle holders for tall, thin candles.
Just make a smooth edge where the cut is and glue the edge to a piece of felt, or even wrap the whole top half of the bottle in a piece of fabric (this is to ensure you don’t scratch the surface you’re putting the candle holder on with that sharp edge).
Decorate the bottle as you wish – the same as you would any other plastic bottle project.
Simply remove the bottle cap and place a candle in the opening to the soda bottle and light it with a match.
You can make full, colorful sets of these candle holders using different sized and different colored bottles (all of the openings of the bottles are the same size, so use the same size candles for all of them).
These make perfect centrepiece displays and the best part is – no one even has to know that they’re made from plastic bottles if you decorate them correctly!
Jackie Ryan is a freelance writer who loves recycling common household products and using them in unique and creative ways. She is a recycling activist in general – her house is stacked with Rubbermaid recycling products and she is always making trips to her local recycling center!
- Hold a candle to your habit (adesignforwife.wordpress.com)
- thai candle holder and design for decoration (tharahimalai.wordpress.com)
- How can I reuse or recycle large (catering size) food cans? (recyclethis.co.uk)