Plastic contamination is one of the most serious environmental crises the world is currently facing. Since it was developed roughly one hundred years ago, we have become increasingly reliant upon plastics in our day to day lives. Though they are cheap, strong and can be used for a multitude of purposes—the surge in plastic production and use poses a significant risk to our natural environment. This is because plastic is notoriously difficult to dispose of safely. What this means is that every piece of plastic produced and subsequently discarded ultimately ends up where it shouldn’t be, leading to the widespread pollution of our land, air and oceans.
One of the things we can do to help ameliorate the problem is reduce our reliance on single-use plastics and move towards a plastic—free life. Though avoiding plastics all together may seem like a big ask, making simple changes like switching to a reusable water bottle, rather than a plastic one, can actually make a huge difference. If you do find yourself buying a plastic bottle in a pinch, making sure you recycle is one way to minimise the negative impact.
Here are 5 amazing things that can be made from recycled plastic bottles:
A number of clothing brands have started using recycled plastic bottles to make their products. It takes about 10 bottles to make enough plastic fibre for a tee shirt and 63 bottles to make a sweater. Who would have thought?
Carpet manufacturers are increasingly turning to recycled plastics to create carpet fibre. These recycled plastic carpeting fibres offer a number of benefits beyond being Eco-friendly. The carpets end up being more stain-resistant and colour-fast than when made from other materials, like wool. Not only that, but the production itself produces fewer emissions than creating carpet fibre from non-recycled plastics.
Drainage pipes are made of polyethylene (PE) plastic—the same type of plastic used to make milk bottles, cleaning and cosmetic product bottles. Manufacturers have now worked out a way to convert recycled bottles into drainage pipes without compromising on the durability or performance.
Many brands are turning to recycled plastic bottles to create more sustainable footwear. Bottles that contain PET are broken down into flakes, melted into pellets and extruded into fibres used to make shoes— pretty cool.
One of the most impressive uses of recycled plastic bottles to date. Homes are being constructed using panels made from repurposed PET (the plastic used for bottles containing products suitable for human consumption). By shredding and melting 600,000 plastic bottles, a company called JD Composites recently built a prototype house with six-inch thick walls to provide the ultimate in efficiency and sustainability.