In the United States in 2009, there were roughly 30 million tons of plastic produced, yet just over two million of them were actually recycled. While recycling itself is great, because the plastic bottles go on to be re-created to be used for various things, you can recycle plastic at home yourself. Once you're done with a plastic bottle, you still have a use for it, even if you have to use your imagination a bit. So, if you have plastic bottles around the house – whether water bottles, soda bottles or something else entirely – here are a couple of recycling ideas to put to the test (especially if you have little ones):
No-Sew Cases with Zippers
Reading this one may throw you for a loop, but it is extremely easy and useful, especially if you have kids who have tons of colored pencils, markers and crayons laying around. These are also great if you have a craft room and never have enough room for all of your writing or painting utensils.
To make these no-sew cases with zippers, you'll want to use the bottom from two different plastic bottles. When making one for pencils, or items of similar size, keep in mind that you will want to ensure that you cut one bottom longer than the other so that the pencils fit almost all the way down into the longer side, like this. For example, cut one plastic bottle bottom roughly 5-6 inches and the other bottom about 2-3 inches. The smaller one will be the top of the case and the longer one will be the bottom, which is what will hold your pencils.
Cut your zipper to where it just slightly overlaps, and glue the ends under. Place the zipper down inside of the bottle a bit, ensuring that the zipper track is at least 1/8-inch away from the plastic and glue it all around. Do the same with the other end on the other plastic bottle. You're done and now have simple plastic holders for pencils, crayons, markers, paintbrushes and more.
Homemade Outdoor Water Sprinkler
There's no need to go spend an arm on a leg on a water sprinkler from the store when you can make your very own from home with a plastic water bottle that you have. You need to rinse out your bottle and remove the label. Add a washer to the inside of a ¾-inch swivel hose adapter (female x female) and twist it onto your bottle. Use a thumb tack or other type of sharp pin to poke eight holes along the top of the bottle. Widen those holes a bit with a bamboo skewer. Now, it's ready to be attached your water hose and enjoyed!
It's always neat when you are able to transform some of your trash into something new and useful. If you can't think of anything else to use our plastic for and you still have some left, make sure to put it in your own recycling bin or find one in your local community such as Main Street Fibers.