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Recycle Plastic Bottles - Five Great Ideas

By Edited Jun 5, 2015 1 1

recycle plastic bottles

We all want to do our bit to help the environment, and one great way to do this is to recycle plastic bottles. Not just by putting them in the blue box, but by reusing them again for other purposes.

You can recycle plastic bottles, by using them in crafts for the kids, or yourself. There are many uses around the house. My Grandmother used to say, that everything that came into the house had to have at least two uses before it left the house. This statement can be applied to today's environment. With that said, here are FIVE great ways to recycle plastic bottles.

Ice Packs

This is really easy. This works well for those plastic water bottles. But you can use the plastic pop bottles as well, just rinse them out. Fill about 3/4 full with clean water and freeze. Next time you are using your cooler or heading out to that barbeque, then throw a couple of these frozen bottles in the cooler. The added benefit here is that you can also drink the water as it thaws! Just stack a few in the freezer.


With a sharp knife start a hole about 1/2 way down a two liter plastic bottle and then using scissors you can cut the bottom half off, and take off the lid, and use this as a great funnel in the kitchen or in the sandbox!.

Piggy Bank

You can cut a slit into the top part of the plastic bottle and then decorate the bottle with plastic paints that you can get at the craft store (these are designed for plastic furniture etc) or you can lightly sand the bottle and use regular acrylic paints. Another great way to decorate your plastic bottle is with fabric. You can decoupage the plastic bottle by using strips of fabric dipped in a white craft glue mixed with a bit of water and then formed onto the plastic bottle, or you can use newspaper, like paper mache. Kids are creative at finding ways to recycle plastic bottles!

Yarn Holder

Carefully cut the bottom off of a large two liter plastic bottle (clean and dry of course!) and put your ball of yarn in there, and take off the cap and feed your wool through there, this stops it from getting tangled.

Self Watering For the Garden

This works great, and is a wonderful way to recycle plastic bottles. You can use many of them this way. Take your sharp knife and pierce a hole about 1/2 way down a large two liter plastic bottle. This gives you a starting point for your scissors (I always found this worked better that just hacking at it with the scissors and risk cutting yourself!) Cut off the bottom half of the plastic bottle. Now take the lid off as well, and then dig a hole near your plants and bury the bottle 1/2 way. Leaving the open end above the ground. Fill this with water, and it will water your plants for you!

These are like little collector systems too, since rain water will also accumulate in them and the plant can use this water after the soil has dried out.

This worked really well in container gardens. Instead of trying to water the container and end up with spills and splashed water, you can fill your plastic bottle.

This is a great way to recycle plastic bottles. If you like the self watering idea, but are not sure about their "looks" you can decorate the part that sticks out of the ground. These work similar to the watering globes you see on TV. As the soil dries more water is absorbed into the root system. You can recycle plastic bottles as well as get a self watering system, I think this qualifies as a second use by my Grandma's standards!

You can plant these around the garden in between shrubs, just make sure they are close enough to the plants to help them.

The above are five great ways to recycle plastic bottles, but you don't have to stop there. There are many great products on the market now, such as Krylon paints that cover plastic, or you can decorate with fabric scraps and glue.

Another great idea to recycle plastic bottles, is to create a bird feeder. You can actually purchase adapters at the department stores that turn your plastic bottle into a proper bird feeder. You can also cut holes into the side of a plastic bottle and hang from a tree for a bird house. There are endless possibilities to recycle plastic bottles.

Many pet stores also sell kits for self watering for your pets while you are away from the house. You can fill the bottle with water and it screws onto a base for water as your pet needs it.

So, next time you finish that pop or that water, before you rinse and then pitch into the recycling bin, just think about what else you can do with this plastic bottle, and maybe keep at least one more out of the landfill.



Jul 10, 2010 10:24am
I've made self watering containers with them for when we go out on vacation.

I actually read directions on how to make a greenhouse with old plastic bottles not too long ago. There are tons of things you can do with them.

Great article!
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