Do you ever get that nagging feeling that plastic bottles will soon cover the surface of the Earth? It could happen. In the UK alone, about 15 million plastic bottles are used each day. That’s not good news considering that plastic can take up to 500 years to decompose.
While it’s highly recommended to avoid plastic bottles at all costs, it’s not always possible. But instead of tossing them in the trash (which you should not be doing at all) or recycling them (a much better alternative), there are ways you can repurpose them. Repurposing plastic bottles will not only keep them out of landfills, but the practise might also save you money on items you would have purchased instead.
Here are just a few of the many ways you can reuse plastic bottles.
Why pay for a gym membership when you can work out at home for free? Refill plastic bottles with sand, £1 coins or other heavy materials to make instant dumbbells.
If you need to funnel liquids or solids into a large container, cut a plastic bottle in half and pour the contents through the cut side of the bottle. Be cautious of any sharp edges you might create from the cut.
3. Make-Ahead Party Beverages
When you’re throwing a party, prepare drinks for guest in clean plastic bottles with the labels removed. Put the bottles in a tub for guests to grab when they’re ready. This trick will help you reduce the amount of time you spend making drinks so you can have more fun with your guests. If you really want to get creative, make new labels to match the theme of your party and tape them to the bottles.
4. Baby Rattle
Fill a small plastic bottle with beans, tighten the lid, glue it shut and give it to a baby to use as a rattle. You could even try different fillings (paperclips, coins, pebbles) for different noises.
5. Hummingbird Feeder
Just tell me that this idea on how to make a hummingbird feeder from a plastic bottle and spoons isn’t one of the coolest things you’ve ever seen.
6. Party Lights
First, spray paint old plastic bottles bright colours and let them dry. Then drill a small hole in the bottom. Stick an LED Christmas light through the hole in every bottle and string the lights. Plug ’em in, and you’ve got instant mood lighting.
7. Flower Vases
If you have any odd shaped plastic bottles, you can make neat vases by wrapping the bottle in raffia or your favourite string, yarn or lace. Be sure to overlap your wrapping material of choice a little bit so none of the bottle shows through. Glue as you go along for a super simple yet impressive vase.
Who says that beautiful chandeliers have to be expensive? For this homemade — and extremely cool — version, you’re going to make flowers out of empty plastic soda bottles by cutting off the ends and cutting them into flower shapes with scissors. After that, you’ll paint them in super-fun colours before using wire to fasten them together. To see the rest of the instructions on how to make a plastic bottle chandelier, check out this tutorial. This chandelier is great for funky outdoor patios or gardens.
9. Coin Purse
Take a look at this clamshell purse fashioned out the ends of two green plastic bottles (you can use any colour). You can use it for change, candy, paper clips… basically anything small that you want to have handy.
10. Bottle Cap Art
Make art out of coloured plastic bottle caps and other hued plastic. The sky is the limit with this idea, and when you’re finished, you’ll have something spectacular to hang in your home or give as an affordable and creative gift.
11. Lady Bug Accessories
One crafty mum turned plastic milk-jug tops into cute ladybugs. Take this idea further and turn these into wearable items by gluing safety pins or hair clips to the back so you can attach them to back packs, pencil cases and more.
12. Potpourri Dish
Freshen up your home by placing potpourri in the cut-off bottom of a plastic bottle. Make it more aesthetically pleasing and elegant by wrapping the bottle in nice ribbon and gluing it in place as you go along, similar to the vase described above.
13. Money Bank
Paint a plastic bottle white; decorate it with markers, paint and other objects; cut a slit near the top to deposit the coins and wait until it fills up. This is a great way to keep a rainy day stash of cash.
14. Candle Holders
Cut the tops off a couple of plastic bottles and insert a candlestick through the mouth of the bottle. To give this idea some pizzazz, consider spray-painting the plastic-bottle candleholders with a glossy colour that will make your table pop. But don’t light the candle for safety reasons — it’s only for decoration.
15. Bug Trap
Get rid of unwanted flying pests by making an organic flytrap. Be sure to keep it away from your house — this won’t smell very good.