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Recycle Plastic Bottles with DIY Projects

Simple DIY projects to recycle those old plastic bottles

According to the EPA, about 2,480,000 tons of plastic bottles and jars were disposed of in 2008. What if those millions of tons of plastic could be put to a new use? Below are seven simple do-it-yourself projects to recycle those used plastic bottles.
 
Scoops
This especially works for plastic milk jugs. Simply cut off a large, diagonal section of an empty milk jug and you have a light-duty scoop with a nice handle included. This also works especially well using old (rinsed out) bleach bottles, laundry detergent bottles, and any other bottle with a built-in, sturdy handle.
 
Watering can
This project is probably the easiest one to do – poke holes through the cap of a large bottle or jug. Fill with water and tilt for an easy recycled watering can. Other plant-watering options for recycling old bottles include drilling holes in the sides of a milk jug and burying it next to young plants as a drip watering system, or attaching a bottle with holes poked in one side to the end of a hose as a homemade sprinkler head.
 
Plastic bag sealer
This project is for use with bottles with stronger caps (especially old Gatorade or Powerade bottles), so this would not go well for milk jugs. To make the sealer, just cut off the bottle below the mouth (don’t forget to save the cap). To use it, feed the plastic bag up through the mouth from beneath, reverse the edge to fold down all around the sealer, and then put the sealer’s cap back on.
 
Phone charger holder
This easy project is best for use with thin, deep bottles like shampoo bottles. Use a pair of scissors to cut straight across the front of the bottle and cut a high loop into the back of the bottle. Cut a hole through the back loop large enough to fit over the outlet adaptor for your phone charger. To use, slip the loop over the adaptor while it is plugged in, then plug in your phone and set it in the pocket. Make sure you decorate your phone holster to match your taste.
 
Planters
The Internet is full of plant-growing ideas for recycling old bottles. Some cut milk jugs horizontally across, place them in vertical rows, and add rubber hoses to create an easily-watered garden. Others cut the bottles lengthwise to create a recycled planter tray. Or, you could create a hanging garden by slicing sections from the sides of large bottles and using string to hang them from a beam.
 
Bird feeder
This one can go a number of different ways – if you have a milk jug, just cut large holes in the sides, fill with birdseed, and hang your new birdfeeder from the cap. For smaller bottles, cut small holes straight through the bottle and thread wooden spoons through to make easy places for the birds to perch. Cut the hold on the side with the bowl of the spoon a little larger to let birdseed fall out more easily. Fill the bottle with birdseed and suspend it by its cap.
 
The next time you finish off your bottle of soda, get creative with the can and try any of these innovative ideas.

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