Plastics are unquestionably the world’s most versatile, amazingly malleable material. But there’s a snag. Plastics are synthetic (artificially created) chemicals that don’t belong in our world and don’t mix well with Nature. Every year India goes through around 5.6 million tonnes per annum of plastic waste, which is generated in country. This is about 15,342 tonnes per day and despite all the noise against Single-Use Plastic, this number is increasing @ 7% a year.
Reusing plastic saves energy by using materials again without any changes and does not create environmental pollution. It also saves cost as same material is used again. That’s why “reduce through reuse” is the only viable mainstream solution. Since reuse is a step up from recycling, repurposing plastic bottles we already have is an excellent habit to get into if we want to do our share to help save the environment.
Once the plastic is in your possession, it is your chance to be creative and find different uses for it. Reused plastic can be used to produce bags for sandwiches, plastic grocery bags for small trash bags, etc. Most people skip this step and go directly to recycling, but reusing plastics can significantly reduce the demand for new plastics to be created.
Here Are 10 Ways (and many more) to Reuse Plastic at Home:
1. Create DIY Plastic Bottle Pencil Case
An easy option rather than tossing the bottle when you’re finished. Make plastic bottle cups out of plastic waste to house pens and supplies at the office, or craft supplies at home. Keep your room organized using a few old plastic bottles, zippers and a little hot glue. Cut off the top of a plastic cold drink bottle, and the bottom of another. Hot glue the zipper pieces to both ends and connect to create your own makeshift coloured pencil case. Click here to watch this video, the first part of the video teaches how to make the pencil case. The rest of the video shows many more interesting ways to reuse plastic bottles.
2. Make a DIY Plastic Bottle Planter
Cat planters from plastic bottles. Yes, this is a real thing. Spark your DIY spirit with a simple project that turns 2-litre plastic bottles into a useful and appealing indoor planter. Here are some simple step-by-step instructions for how to make a DIY plastic bottle planter:
- Cut the bottom third of a 2-liter bottle.
- Paint the bottle white or the color of your choice.
- Use parts of the rest of the bottle to cut out ears.
- Draw a face and other features on the bottle.
- Fill the bottle with seeds and soil.
Click here to watch this video that will help you in the step-by-step process of creating your cat planter.
3. Turn a Milk Carton into a Garden Scooper
One of the easiest and most useful plastic reusing projects is to create a scooper from empty carton. Whenever you need to garden your plants or clean up after your dog, just scoop and toss. Click here to watch this video-tutorial to turn a milk carton into a DIY scooper.
4. Start a DIY Hanging Vertical Garden
Reusing 2-liter bottles for making a vertical garden is one of the more creative plastic bottle projects. It not only prevents plastic bottles for reaching the landfill and oceans but also provides habitat for plants. Follow these simple steps to create a vertical garden from plastic bottles.
- Remove the label from the bottles and clean the inside.
- Take a sharp object and poke drainage holes in the middle of the bottle on one side.
- Take a marker and trace a cutting line around the bottle opposite to the holes.
- Cut along the bottle on the line with a cutter.
- Flip the bottle so its horizontal and tie threads on the two ends.
- If you want you can paint the bottle to your liking.
Click here to learn about making this vertical garden from waste plastic bottles.
5. Reuse a Lotion Bottle As a Charging Dock
It will be a great day when cell phones no longer have to be charged. Until that day, we charge away. Make it easy on yourself and guests by creating a cell phone charging dock. All you need is a lotion bottle, a marker and a box cutter. It will also ensure your mobile phone don’t fall. Click here to check out this video-tutorial.
6. Turn Plastic Bottle Trash into a Trash Can
A trash-trash can. That has a ring to it. There’s no bigger symbolic gesture of going green than creating a trash can out of trash plastic bottles. Make a statement and create a container perfect for outside trash disposal. Just don’t throw away your plastic bottles. Click here to browse this pictorial step-by-step process for creating a trash can from plastic trash!
7. Make a Bird Feeder
If you live in an area that has many birds like the Delhi NCR, a strategically placed DIY bird feeder from plastic bottles will allow you to view the pretty feathered creatures up close and personal. Taking just a little time and very little money, you can make one out of materials you might have otherwise thrown away – a plastic bottle and a couple of spoons. Click here to watch this slow and relaxed video on reusing a plastic bottle as a bird feeder.
8. Drip Irrigator
Drip irrigation delivers moisture directly to plant roots without over saturating the soil, which helps the plants root deeper and grow healthier since they don’t experience moisture stress. Grab some 2 litre plastic bottles, punch two holes into the caps, and hang or plant the bottles next to the plants. Fill them with water and let the plants get the slow watering they prefer. Click here to gave a look at a tutorial.
9. DIY Electric Cooler
This DIY electricity air cooler utilizes a perforated board and empty plastic bottles to create an instant and highly effective DIY air conditioning system. To make an Eco-Cooler, you cut plastic bottles in half and then mount them on a board. Then, you place the board over a window, with the bottlenecks facing towards the inside of the house. The change in pressure that occurs when air enters the wider part of the bottle and comes out through the bottleneck cools the air. Click here to watch the DIY Video, which seems to be a promising low-cost technology for cooling.
10. Buy a Refill
When was the last time you bought a refill for your plastic pen? As we stopped doing that, more and more of plastic waste started entering the landfills, our rivers and oceans. Let us start buying refill for pens and for liquid soaps and all other things made out of plastic that can be refilled.
Plastic reusing is the only solution to ensure that we do not manufacture more plastic while still using the one that we have already created. Let us follow this practice to save Mother Nature from the menace of plastic pollution.