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Crafty ways to recycle plastic bottles and bags

 

There are hundreds of crafty ideas to recycle plastic bottles and bags, so we decided to put together a collection of our favourite projects that are practical and useful in and around the home.

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Made from recycled plastic shopping bags these pouffs can be used indoors or outdoors. Pack the inside with plastic bags if you want to use them outdoors, or stuff with old clothes, bedlinen and towels for indoors. They are perfect for kid’s bedrooms, a family room or by the pool. Use an extra-large crochet hook to make your own.

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Using plastic bags to make placemats and coasters is easy and you only need basic crocheting skills to make your own. Cut the plastic bags into long strips and knot these together to make lengths to work with.

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Plastic bags make the perfect rugs for any room in a home, and they don’t have to look like rugs made out of plastic bags! The rugs shown above are made using plastic bags that are woven together using colourful thread and then finished off with a woven trim edging.

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Using a weaving method you can upcycle plastic shopping bags into baskets and practical storage containers and bins for a home. When you consider how many plastic bags end up on rubbish dumps, taking the time to learn a few basic techniques allows you to transform plastic bags into useful items that can be repurposed in a home.

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If you’re handy with crocket or macramé you will love this project that uses plastic shopping bags to make a globe pendant. Upcycle an inexpensive paper Chinese lantern frame and weave your creation around the frame.

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Cut off the top section of a plastic bottle to make decorative flower fairy lights. Silk flowers are fitted on the inside of the bottle and fairy lights threaded through and secured with a blob of hot glue. Nice idea for a celebration or for dressing up a little girl’s bedroom. Only use LED fairly lights for this project, as any other type of lights get too hot and will melt the plastic.

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Another crafty way to make decorative fairy lights is to use plastic milk bottles. Here’s an idea that uses a plastic milk bottle cut into petal shapes and then slightly melted with a heat gun. Once the plastic starts to melt it really does resemble flower petals. Again, only use LED fairy lights for this project.

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Plastic bottles are great for upcycling into all types of storage projects. The one shown here can be used for newspapers and magazines, in an office to hold stationary, a craft room for small supplies, or a children’s bedroom from art and craft accessories.

 

If you are looking for a way to ‘do your bit’ for the environment, upcycling plastic waste is a fun way to get involved in recycling plastic, especially in Joburg and other areas where local municipalities still have to set up a recycling system for household waste!

Janice Anderssen

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