This activity is about finding ways to re-use the plastic bottles we do have – this is also called upcycling – giving them a new life.
All over the world people use and throw away empty plastic bottles everyday. The bottles either add to rubbish heaps or look unattractive when they are thrown in gutters at the side of roads. Sometimes they are recycled into other plastic products. However, the best thing is to reduce the amount of plastic we use and throw away, then to re-use the plastic we do have as much as possible, and finally to recycle it when we really can’t use it any more.
What are ways you could reduce the amount of plastic you use in your daily life? e.g. you could refill a bottle with water from home, rather than buying another bottle each time you’re thirsty.
List as many new uses you can think of for an empty plastic bottle. You could make your list with your group or household to get as many ideas as possible.
Here are a few suggestions to get you started:
- cut the bottom off for a cup
- cut the top off for a funnel
- use it to store other liquids (re-label the bottle clearly)
- slice the bottom end off to use as a saucer for plant pots.
Try designing and making one or some of the suggested items or a different item that you came up with!
Can you decorate your bottle in its new role? Waterproof pens can make a stained glass effect or depending on its new use you could stick coloured paper, stickers or other decorations on the outside.
Take it further
Could you permanently replace something in your home or school using an upcycled plastic bottle craft?
If you enjoyed this activity check out Teddy’s Upcycled Togs to give upcycling fabric a try!