Recycled Plastic: Boats, Greenhouses, and More
A couple of weeks ago, I ran the book fair at my boys’ school. This is the fifth year I’ve been in charge of the fair, and the fifth year that I’ve brought home the plastic table cloths that are part of the fair kit I’m sent. They are in perfectly good condition, and I bring them home to use to cover table tops when the kids paint and find lots of other uses for them.
I’ve been seeing a lot of clever uses around the internet for used plastic lately, particularly plastic bottles. Have you seen any of these?
The Recycled Plastic Boat. David de Rothschild is trying to promote the importance of recycling. He’s constructing a 60 foot catamaran and planning to sail it across the Pacific in April. The aim of The Plastiki is to
captivate, inspire and activate tomorrow’s environmental thinkers and doers to take positive action for our Planet and to be smart with waste, ultimately we hope to inspire people to rethink waste as a valuable resource. One person’s waste could be another person’s treasure.
The Plastic Bottle Greenhouse. A public school group from Australia, ECO (Environmental Care Organisation) built an entire greenhouse out of 1,652 plastic bottles. A steel frame supports the structure and the bottles are threaded on pvc pipes. The greenhouse will help to enhance the school’s environmental education program.
The school won the Make a Difference competition run by radio station C91.3, which supported the project.
Mini Greenhouse. The greenhouse above is a pretty big undertaking, but one plastic bottle can be a green house by itself. A 2 liter soda bottle makes a perfect windowsill greenhouse and helps seedlings get a better start than just placing the pot on the windowsill by itself. Instructions for creating one can be found at allfreecrafts.com.
Plastic bottles are also being recycled into outdoor furniture, clothing, laptop bags, bird feeders, bags, and so much more. Plastic bottles are a reality. While it’s a good thing to try to create less of them, I don’t see them going away completely any time soon. Considering the fact that it’s estimated that it will take a plastic bottle 450 years to decompose (no one actually knows how long it will take because plastic hasn’t been around long enough to know), finding other uses for them is wise.