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12 Ways to Reuse Plastic the Planet Will Thank You For

Plastic litter has truly become inescapable, and there’s nowhere you can hide from this pollution. Scientists discovered that tiny shrimp-like creatures living on the bottom of the Mariana Trench have plastic particles in their digestive systems. We’ve gone way too far in polluting our planet and it’s high time we all started to use less plastic and reuse it in all possible ways.

Here at Bright Side, we’ve found some easy and creative ways to give plastic items a second life. And don’t miss our bonus tip at the end of the article that will show you how to turn ordinary plastic bags into functional home décor.

1. Use the bottoms of plastic bottles for making DIY Christmas decorations.

Every year, we buy tons of Christmas ornaments to decorate our Christmas trees and houses. But why not try and make your own ornaments using old plastic bottles? Cut off the bottoms and heat the edges above an iron or a stove for a bit so that they’re no longer that sharp. Paint the bottoms with glitter glue, add some nice ribbons, and enjoy your eco-friendly Christmas decorations!

2. Use plastic bottles for watering plants in your garden.

No more worrying about watering your plants while you’re away! Punch small holes all over the bottle. Dig a hole big enough to hide a bottle in the center of the planter or next to the plant in the garden bed. Put the bottle in the hole and cover it with soil so that you still have access to its neck. Fill the bottle with water and it will slowly seep through the holes, watering the plant.

3. Turn a bottle into an improvised watering pot or even a shower.

Punch holes in a bottle cap. Fill the bottle with water, leave it in the sun until the water gets warm, and water your plants. If you’re willing to experiment, use a plastic bottle to fix a leaking shower head. See this video for detailed instructions.

4. Make a compact greenhouse for your veggies out of a large PET bottle.

A conventional greenhouse costs a lot and occupies tons of space while a bottle greenhouse is a good solution for a garden of any size. Cut off the bottom of a PET bottle, unscrew the cap, and put it on your garden bed so that the bottle surrounds the plant. This improvised greenhouse looks simple, but it will extend the hot season for your veggies and protect them from winds.

5. Try making a creative bird feeder.

All you need to make a nice bird feeder is an empty plastic bottle, a few pencils or wooden sticks, a knife, some twine, and some seeds. See this article for detailed instructions. By the way, these kinds of feeders attract not only birds but also other animals who love seeds and nuts like squirrels, for example.

6. Turn plastic buckets into DIY bike baskets.

Who knew plastic buckets that you use to store cat litter could turn into capacious bike baskets? Buckets are strong, safe, and waterproof; and if you fill them with ice you can keep your food and drinks cold during long rides. Follow these directions to use plastic buckets for kitting your bike.

7. Use plastic bottles as flower pots.

Soda, milk, and juice bottles work just fine as improvised flower pots. Choose a bottle big enough for your flower, cut a hole of the proper size, and fill the bottle with soil. Don’t forget to punch little holes in the bottom for good water drainage.

8. Make a handy wall organizer out of detergent containers.

Old detergent containers cut in halves can make a nice wall organizer for your garage or workshop. Filled with soil, they will work just fine as flowerpots or planters for herbs in your kitchen.

9. Turn 2 PET bottles into a waterproof stationery pouch.

Cut 2 bottles in halves and join them with the help of a zipper and some glue as shown in this video. This DIY pencil case looks unique and keeps your belongings safe in your bag or backpack.

10. Reuse food packages as serving dishes for garden parties.

Many of us buy paper or plastic disposable tableware for picnics or garden parties. Try reusing the plastic packages your food comes in as serving dishes for salads and desserts instead of just throwing them away.

11. Repurpose plastic bottle crates and use them as furniture.

Bottle crates are worth upcycling too. In fact, you can turn them into a variety of furniture items: sofas, chairs, tables, and dressers, just to name a few. You can get inspired about how to reuse plastic crates in your household in this video.

12. Transport your seedlings in strong plastic bags filled with soil.

Bottles are not the only plastic items that can be repurposed for gardening. Take a few strong plastic bags, fill them with soil and use them for transporting your seedlings to your garden. This will be even easier if you choose bags with handles.

Bonus: Plastic bags can become beautiful poufs, door mats, or grocery bags — just add a bit of imagination!

If you knit or crochet, try replacing your cotton or woolen threads with...cut plastic bags! Cut the bags of different colors into strips and use them as you normally would while knitting. If you don’t have knitting skills, you can just braid the plastic strips and stitch or fuse them together as shown here.

Do you reuse plastic in your household? Could you share more tips on how to reuse and recycle plastic items?

Illustrated by Ekaterina Gapanovich for Bright Side
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