Blog posts, Environment

15+ ways to upcycle plastic

Most people are guilty of throwing away something in the general waste bin that could have been recycled. I sometimes get confused about which items can and can’t be recycled. I am super passionate about the environment so take the time to figure it out but not everyone is. A way to not throw out so much plastic is to reuse and upcycle as much as possible. Upcycling is great because not only are you not throwing out plastic, but you are saving money on something you would end up buying. I try to do this as often as I can.

Some inspiration…

Bottle planters

I love this idea – the bunny one looks especially cute!

https://www.pinterest.co.uk/pin/27443878969962077/sent/?invite_code=82e392dd861e449eb5295b870905ca28&sender=965740851252696566&sfo=1

Pom poms out of plastic bags

I used to do this when I was younger and it was a lot of fun. Different bags = more colours

https://www.pinterest.co.uk/pin/15973773666044002/sent/?invite_code=8a7c821407c24dcdaddce9790e62972e&sender=965740851252696566&sfo=1

Store pasta, rice etc. in plastic bottles

This one isn’t upcycling so much, but it’s a great way to store food without buying more containers.

https://www.pinterest.co.uk/pin/535435843206311988/sent/?invite_code=1250fdecf7374b53944ca65cb1dce58e&sender=965740851252696566&sfo=1

Bottle tops as game counters

Not so much of an upcycling craft but I’m sure you’ve lost a game counter before and needed to sub something in. A colourful bottle top is perfect for that!

https://www.pinterest.co.uk/pin/300967187604440614/sent/?invite_code=81883394898842a78de38ab68e4bcb82&sender=965740851252696566&sfo=1

Make a pencil case out of plastic bottles

You just need to add a zip!

https://www.pinterest.co.uk/pin/9288742969734142/sent/?invite_code=c8d3a3c0050e4977957f340a68bdf728&sender=965740851252696566&sfo=1

Turn plastic bottles into a storage container

This is totally my kind of thing – I actually use mushroom containers to store my medicine & make up!

https://www.pinterest.co.uk/pin/432838214193296351/sent/?invite_code=6d0050e918954dc7aebd8ed31d11b4d5&sender=965740851252696566&sfo=1

Make plarn (plastic yarn!)

I love the idea of this & will definitely be giving it a go

https://www.pinterest.co.uk/pin/301530137558850769/sent/?invite_code=ce97a01404ab412ba09c8af93a1feee2&sender=965740851252696566&sfo=1

Create a pretty picture out of bottle tops

https://www.pinterest.co.uk/pin/3799980922281514/sent/?invite_code=d7e5291e2e06491bb1def700edf60b09&sender=965740851252696566&sfo=1

Related post: 5 ways to reduce your plastic consumption

Weave a rug

https://www.pinterest.co.uk/pin/13510867620263643/sent/?invite_code=d2451a9d7a214f138632ab21be1a99fa&sender=965740851252696566&sfo=1

Make an instrument

I used to do this all the time as a child!

https://www.pinterest.co.uk/pin/614248836678781504/sent/?invite_code=31a4ae4e5ba04fb1a53018ee63fe366d&sender=965740851252696566&sfo=1

Use the bottom of a bottle to make a jewellery bowl

This one is such a nice idea because they can colour them & it looks like a flower.

https://www.pinterest.co.uk/pin/200621358389040964/sent/?invite_code=605869f29fe9490e93d1fe9aee7e2768&sender=965740851252696566&sfo=1

Weave a basket

https://www.pinterest.co.uk/pin/469781804870785782/sent/?invite_code=2773024fcf6b486c8528a2deae9b9db4&sender=965740851252696566&sfo=1

Make a piggy bank

https://www.pinterest.co.uk/pin/31103053668094003/sent/?invite_code=fc200ec2e38d4d7ba28eb03431b8dc58&sender=965740851252696566&sfo=1

Plastic bottle watering can

This one less upcycling and more DIY.

https://www.pinterest.co.uk/pin/293296994469667325/sent/?invite_code=46df16ff445a47a082bf16986d9dacc8&sender=965740851252696566&sfo=1

Make a bracelet

Instead of using PLASTIC loom bands, why not use a bag you have lying around the house?

https://www.pinterest.co.uk/pin/351491945925357293/sent/?invite_code=8cafef0927404b93b4c3c675c69105bf&sender=965740851252696566&sfo=1

Create a windchime

Windchimes are so nice for the garden – one made out of plastic would be colourful ๐Ÿ˜

https://www.pinterest.co.uk/pin/41165784082250369/sent/?invite_code=b9054c87e14b4e94a92f116737e57c31&sender=965740851252696566&sfo=1

Plastic bag football

Anyone else remember making this in primary school? Or maybe Brownies/Guides?

https://www.pinterest.co.uk/pin/349803096031308342/sent/?invite_code=e5358f63fd5c42d784997583f189e0e3&sender=965740851252696566&sfo=1

Paint pallette

I really like this idea because pallettes are made out of plastic anyway so you would be saving some from being wasted.

https://www.pinterest.co.uk/pin/52495151894829045/sent/?invite_code=3ebb194288c944d4aacca5867ad4fbc5&sender=965740851252696566&sfo=1

Plastic bottle as a utensil holder

https://www.pinterest.co.uk/pin/11399805283253238/sent/?invite_code=e7e955baa73c4165afddc0987022d77f&sender=965740851252696566&sfo=1

I love all the ideas I came across on Pinterest but not everyone has the time or would enjoy making crafts. There needs to be a change to make recycling clearer as it seems that millions of people don’t know.

Better You has created a petition because the current policy lacks the transparency and infrastructure needed to create an effective recycling life cycle. Their petition demands a national, unified programme for waste plastic collection and recycling which is standardised, independently monitored, and publicly reviewed annually.

I’d really appreciate it if you could sign the petition <3

Have you tried any of these?

Best wishes, Cx

Caroline

Welcome to Enviroline Blog ๐Ÿ’—
I blog to raise awareness about the environment and mental health - specifically eating disorder recovery.
I upload every Sunday and some Wednesdays.

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45 Comments

  1. These are such fun ideas! I had forgotten about making pom poms. I definitely did that when I was a kid ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. So much fun! x

  2. I loved this – so useful!!

    1. Thank you x

  3. Aw, I love these ideas! The bottle planters are the CUTEST! x

    1. I know right! x

  4. Some of these are so clever! I need to try my hand at waving plastic bags but donโ€™t have many so I will need to find out if my neighbors have extra they donโ€™t need! Thank you for these brilliant ideas Caroline x

    1. Aw that would be great, thank you xx

  5. What a great list. I love the planters! Clearer recycling rules would be great. Thereโ€™s so much innovation that can be done with recycled plastic. I own a pair of shoes made (not by me) from recycled plastic bottles. They are so cute and youโ€™d never know!

    1. Totally agree! My travel mug is made of plastic pottles ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. Such fun ideas, love this post! x

    1. thank you ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. These are great ways to upcycle plastic! I remember making pom poms when I was a kid! x

    Lucy | http://www.lucymary.co.uk

    1. Thank you for reading xx

  8. love all the suggestions, caroline! I especially love the bottle caps as game pieces

    1. Thank you x

  9. Ruth says:

    These are such fab ways to upcycle plastic. I love the plastic bottle watering can.

    1. Thanks ๐Ÿ™‚ x

  10. These are all awesome ideas! I use all my old conditioner tubs as planters and other plastic bottles and jars as propagation stations x

    1. I love that! x

  11. So many genius and fun ideas, especially for kids! I love the milk carton one x

    1. Thank you ๐Ÿ™‚ x

  12. What an incredible collection of ideas! I’m saving this post to give me ideas for craft projects with the kids.
    Thank you!

    1. Aw, that’s so great to hear! Thank you, always a good idea to do eco-friendly activities from an early age ๐Ÿ™‚

  13. simplyalexjean says:

    This is wonderful – so many great ideas! I frequently use left over protein shake & juice bottles for my baking supplies/ granola and it’s been great to give those products a second life. The rest of the list looks awesome – thanks for sharing.

    1. I love that idea – I have an empty pringle tube that I’m planning to store pasta in ๐Ÿ™‚ x

  14. I love the idea of the pencil case out of water bottles. That is so cool. I love that idea. I will totally have to try that out.

    1. Aw great! ๐Ÿ™‚ x

  15. nortoncharity says:

    These are all such great ways to epicycle plastic. Thanks so much for sharing!

    1. Thank you ๐Ÿ™‚

  16. These are such cute and fun ways to reuse plastic! My grandparents love reusing their old bottles to hold different things in. I didn’t know you could upcycle plastic in so many ways. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Thank you! x Grandparents always have the best ideas ๐Ÿฅฐ

      1. They really do! and you’re welcome โ™ฅ

  17. Such brilliant ideas! I had to try one of them. Thanks for the inspiration ๐Ÿ™‚

    xx Dasynka

    1. Aw great! x

  18. These are all such fab ideas!! I love the little planters I think I will make these with my nephew the next time I see him. They seems like so much fun and a great way to recycle

    1. Aw, that’s great! x

  19. I have fallen in love your blog! It’s incredible, it’s everything I want to read right now!! I am all for being more sustainable and recycling where I can!
    I love your ideas – the planters are great. I am sharing this with my school teacher friend to show her class of year 3s!

    Rosie

    1. Awww, thank you so much! That means the world to me ๐Ÿฅฐ๐Ÿ’š I’m so glad you enjoyed xx

  20. There are so many great ideas here! The planters are adorable, and the jewelry dish is so cute! Any of these would be great activities for young kids, especially as they learn about recycling and protecting the environment.

    1. Thank you, I totally agree x

  21. I love these ideas! I really want to try the rag rug soon.

    1. Thank you x

  22. […] glass bottles, plastic bottles, cardboard […]

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