We Brits now recycle just over half of our plastic bottle waste, which is great. But did you realise that we can reuse plastic bottles so that they have whole other lives before they finally need to be recycled?
Take a look at these ingenious reuse ideas. You may think twice before you automatically head for the recycling bin with your empty pop bottle.
Drain declogger upcycled from a plastic 2L drinks bottle
If your shower or sink is bunged up, why not try out a free reuse solution before pouring down harsh drain cleaners? You could save plenty on calling a plumber, because all you’ll need is some sharp scissors or a craft knife, a 2L plastic bottle, some newspaper, a marker pen and a strong stomach!
Warning: this tutorial contains graphic images of stuff that clogs drains. Maybe not a good idea to check it out over your cornflakes.
Reuse plastic bottles for footrests!
The elegant ottoman in the foreground of this picture hides a secret…
…before it was upholstered, it looked like this!
Deployed collectively, plastic bottles are surprisingly strong – they’ve been used to make sturdy greenhouses, partition walls and even entire houses. This footrest will stand up to as much wear and tear as the rest of the furniture in your house. Yet, when it finally falls apart you can simply recycle it.
Reuse plastic bottles for bird feeders
This plastic bottle bird station is easy to keep clean and hygienic – an important thing to consider when making your own feathered friend feeder. Simple refills through the cap of the bottle are a bonus and we love the wooden spoon perches!
Handy purse upcycled from two plastic bottle bases
This upcycled container is an absolute cinch to make and would be a brilliant project to work on with your kids. Materials-wise, all you need are a couple of matching bottles; second hand zips of the right length can be tracked down on eBay. Some tutorials recommend sewing the zip to the plastic, but this one demonstrates an easier version using a glue gun.
Water filter upcycled from a plastic 2L drinks bottle
British inventor David Rainbird created this piece of DIY recycling design several years ago – and we think it’s a slice of genius. Here’s him pouring freshly filtered water from a modified 2L plastic drinks bottle. See how it’s done.
Holder for charging mobile upcycled from a lotion bottle
This exceptionally cunning reuse idea keeps your mobile safe whilst charging, and costs nothing more than a little time and patience. No more tripping hazards, frayed cords or forgetting where you left your phone to charge!