Recycling Glass & Plastic Bottle Ideas


Here’s a great set of ideas for re-using glass and plastic bottles, as re-use is even better than recycling for the planet.

If you’re good with your imagination and love crafting, you can re-use almost all of your waste, and bottles and glass jars are no exception.

On a previous incarnation of recycle-eh.com, here’s what was said:

“A neighbour stopped by with a box full of itty-bitty clear glass bottles and asked if I could use them. As soon as I saw these adorable little containers I instantly imagined a fun Halloween idea for each one. But you’ll have to wait to see what I’ll be coming up with.

Hint: One of the jars shows a possibility!

Another neighbour brought me over some plastic and glass bottles and asked if I could find a use for them. I promptly placed a flower in each one and corralled them all on a vintage pewter charger, all tied up with a green ribbon. I returned these to my astonished neighbour who wondered why she hadn’t thought of this idea herself.”

This raises a few opportunities for enthusiastic recyclers and hobbyists, things that perhaps get overlooked by others.

Firstly, it’s not just you that’s got a recycle bin, every house on your street should be sorting their waste into bins for collection. If you know a few of your neighbours, they’ll probably be more than happy for you to dive into theirs too to look for raw materials for your next artistic project. Remember, as we said, re-use beats recycling every time!

What’s more, having more to choose from means you’ve got more to work with. Whether that’s plastic, glass or cardboard isn’t always important, although plastic is generally the toughest to recycle, so perhaps is the best to prioritise working with.

Of course, you need the permission of friends and neighbours to go rooting through their rubbish. At the very least, people will look at you in a strange way if they spot you head down and rummaging through what they’ve thrown out.

The great thing that the piece above illustrates is just how generous people can be. After all, you’re helping them to waste less too, so often people will put things to one side if they know you need them, so you don’t even need to dive into the garbage in the first place!

Themed creations are particularly popular with crafters looking to get more out of what would otherwise be wasted, whether it’s Easter, Christmas or Halloween as mentioned earlier, the brilliant thing about rubbish is its random nature. People tend to toss stuff into the trash without really thinking any more about it, whereas by re-using it, you can let what’s available inspire and stoke your creative juices.

Sometimes I find that the best ideas are spur of the moment as a result of spotting a colour, design or even just the shape of a bottle, So it’s not even a case of going in search of specific materials.

Bottles and jars come in all shapes and sizes, so staying open minded when hunting means you can end up with something really unique, rather than the same old designs everyone made from toilet roll tubes at school.

It doesn’t have to be traditional craft ideas though. For example, bottle lids come in a range of sizes, and every now and again you’ll find you’ve lost a dosing ball or cup for the laundry liquid or something else that needs a relatively accurate measure. Having a stock of lids means you can know what size you need and grab one that’s about the right size. If there’s not one that’s spot on, go for a slightly larger option and use a magic marker to create a line where the dose needs to fill to.

A good recycler is always looking to re-use what others think they no longer need. As the old saying goes, “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure” and in a world of waste, it’s never been more true or important for the environment.