Every year there is approximately 333,557 tons of plastic waste tossed into the ocean. Plastic pollution is a toxic hazard that threatens the habitats of ocean and land wildlife. In addition, the mass production of plastic contributes to the dilution of natural resources and increases the burning of fossil fuels.
Waste management companies across the globe are seeing an uptick in plastic pollution-and most are encouraging people to avoid it. Sometimes, plastic is unavoidable-however reusing it can minimize production which is important for the environment. Here’s a look at five crafty ways to reuse plastic materials.
1. Refill Plastic Jugs
Milk jugs, plastic orange juice cartons, and gallon water jugs are great for lemonades and punches. Although it’s encouraged not to use them for drinking too long, it doesn’t mean you have to throw them right in the recycling bin. Fill them with non-consumable items such as glue, dishwashing detergent, or an anti-freeze mix.
2. Make Plastic Bags Useful
One of the biggest headaches for a waste management company is plastic bags. Most of these bags aren’t biodegradable and eventually will end up in oceans or streams. Plastic bags can be used for a variety of projects, including:
– Carrying school lunches
– Making fashionable purses and bags
– Worn as booties over shoes
– Piping bags for cake decoration
The most damaging type of plastic bags come from the grocery store. Avoid using them by purchasing reusable shopping bags or asking the cashier for a paper option.
3. Turn Water Bottles Into Wire
Every day, people throw away thousands of plastic water bottles that end up in a waste management facility or landfill. Water and small plastic soda bottles are comprised of a thicker plastic and are perfect for making wire. Use industrialized scissors, wire cutters, or a utility knife to cut thick or thin strips of plastic. These makeshift wires are great and prevent purchasing and using plastic zip ties.
4. Keep the Bottle Caps
Caps from soda bottles and plastic jugs are hard to recycle-however, they can be used for an assortment of projects. Conserving bottle caps can be useful for things such as:
– Creating a push cushion ring for sewing
– Decorative art projects
– Making jewelry such as earrings, rings, and necklaces
– Fusing them together to make pill holders
Most bottle caps aren’t biodegradable and linger in a waste management facility for awhile. Large bottle caps can also be used as a buffer between furniture legs and flooring-especially fine grain wood and carpets.
5. Turn Two-Liter Bottles Into Planters
Two-liter bottles have an array of uses. A popular option is cutting it in half and using the top piece as a funnel. However, the bottom half of a two-liter bottle can be used to create a planter. Plastic planters are great for small plants such as herbs and succulents.
Alternatives to Reducing Plastic Waste
Waste management companies, scientists, and environmentalists can agree that plastic waste is a growing problem for Mother Earth. Reusing plastic materials isn’t always a viable option, however, there are alternative means such as recycling, using glass and ceramics, and avoiding the purchase of non-recyclable plastic items.