8 Useful Ways To Reuse Plastic Bottles
Recycling alone isn't enough. Going to the recycling center may extend the life of plastic, but it still ends up in the landfill, where it won't break down for centuries. Instead of sending your used plastic bottles into the waste stream, you can reuse plastic bottles in all sorts of creative, fun, and crafty ways! Here are 8 great ideas to get you started.
1. Make a foot warmer
Going for a walk on cold winter days can leave you with cold and tired feet. But you don't have to spend your hard-earned money on a heating pad or hot water bottle to ease your discomfort. Just fill a 2-liter soft drink bottle with hot water, sit down and roll it back and forth under your feet.
2. Use as a trunk stretcher
Want to keep your trunk cuffs from getting wrinkled or knocked over when you put them in storage? Put a clean, empty 1-liter (32 ounce) soft drink bottle in each trunk. Wrapping the bottles with a couple of old socks or wrapping them in towels will give them an extra boost.
3. Craft a bag or string dispenser
An empty 2-liter soft drink bottle is the perfect container for storing and dispensing plastic bags at the grocery store. Simply cut off the bottom and top of the bottle and secure it upside down in a kitchen cabinet or dresser with screws. Place washers under the screw heads so they don't pull through the plastic. Fill the bottle with your recycled bags (squeeze out the air first) and pull it out as needed. Make a string dispenser the same way, using a 1 liter bottle and letting the string come out the bottom.
4. Recycle as a chew toy
If your dog has been chewing on your slippers instead of retrieving them, she needs new chew toys. Just give her an empty 32-ounce (1 L) plastic soft drink bottle to chew on. Maybe it's the crunchy sound they make, but dogs love them! Just make sure you remove the label and bottle cap (and the loose plastic ring underneath). Replace the bottle before it gets too chewed up - broken plastic poses a choking hazard.
5. Make a weight for anchoring or lifting
Fill a large, clean, dry bottle with a handle with sand and cap it. You now have an anchor that is great for holding down a paint tarp, securing a shaky patio umbrella, or steadying a table for repair. The handle makes it easy to move or attach a rope. Or use a pair of sand-filled bottles as exercise weights, varying the amount of sand to meet your lifting capacity.
6. Do away with a toy carrier bag
If you're tired of having Lego or kit pieces under your feet, you can make a simple tote bag for storage by cutting a large hole in the side of a clean plastic bottle with a handle. Cut the hole on the other side of the handle so you or your child can easily carry the container back to the playroom after stashing the parts. If you want to store craft supplies, crayons or small toys, cut the containers in half and use the bottom part to store your items.
7. Store your sugar
The next time you bring home a 1-pound bag of sugar from the store, put it in a clean, dry, large plastic bottle with a handle. The sugar won't harden as quickly, and the handle will make pouring much easier.
8. Fashion a funnel
To make a handy, durable funnel, cut a cleaned milk, bleach, or liquid detergent container with a handle in half across its midsection. Use the top portion (with the spout and handle) as a funnel for easy pouring of paints, rice, coins, and anything else suitable.