How to Repurpose Plastic for The Times We Just Can’t Avoid It

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The main duty of these eager to make a private distinction by way of plastic is to keep away from it. There are some ways to do that: shopping for in bulk, using reusable items like purchasing baggage and water bottles, avoiding take-out containers, and steering away from single-serving processed meals. We may also be proactive by selecting to purchase sure items secondhand and studying to vary our existence to keep away from plastic, e.g. sitting for a meal fairly than getting it to go or, higher but, cooking at house.

Nevertheless, apart from essentially the most active eco-warriors, most of us are going to run into plastic on occasion. It’s nearly of full-on occupation to evade it utterly, so we additionally must be taught to take care of the packaging we get. It’s troublesome to recycle some plastics, and even those that can be recycled often fail to make it by way of the method. In different phrases, to essentially take duty for the plastics with which we’re concerned, we have to be taught to take care of them ourselves. That could be a tall order.

However, saving the surroundings from the age of plastic is simply that. Since regulators, producers, and the federal government appear reluctant to really tackle this job, the onus has fallen on us as residents of the world to do it. In our hearts, it’s one thing most of us wish to be a part of. In our minds and habits, it’s a mountain that may really feel insurmountable. But, do any of us actually wish to be the one that didn’t at the very least attempt to do our half for the great of the planet?

After lowering our use of plastic, repurposing it is the next best solution. Luckily, there are some methods of doing this that account for lots of the plastic packaging we inadvertently get and gained’t essentially fill our houses with folksy plastic artwork that appears to have originated from kindergarten class.

Plastic Bottles

There are a lot of concepts about learn how to repurpose plastic bottles, so we gained’t dwell too lengthy on these on this article. Suffice it to say, they can be utilized as planters, pencil holders, piggy banks, artwork supplies, lamps, and chook feeders.

Conversely, we mustn’t overlook that plastic bottles are nonetheless one of many simpler plastic objects to keep away from, so we ought to be doing that fairly repurposing them. We can carry reusable bottles for water and go for cans—a extra dependable, much less energy-intensive merchandise to recycle—for different drinks.

Plastic Shopping Bags

Plastic purchasing baggage have been the one struggle that many native governments and companies have taken on. Citizens have made that occur. Now, they’re being banned far and wide, so we’re already on our approach right here. And, once more, they’re simple to keep away from even exterior of those environmentally enlightened locales as a result of it’s as simple as carrying a reusable purchasing bag or simply carrying the merchandise you’ve bought with no purchasing bag.

That mentioned, a plethora of literature exists on-line for repurposing plastic purchasing baggage, with the obvious and ubiquitous being a liner for small trash cans within the house workplace and bogs. The purchasing bag as bin liner means it’s being reused, and we’ve prevented shopping for extra plastic through tiny trash baggage.

repurposed plastic

Source: Sally/Flickr

Plastic Bags

While plastic purchasing baggage are simple to keep away from, plastic baggage, on the whole, are a lot totally different. Many issues we purchase — natural produce, a pound of dry beans, an equipment, a dozen rolls of bathroom paper — come wrapped in plastic baggage/packaging. While a few of this may be prevented by purchasing at bulk retailers or shopping for secondhand, avoiding all of it is extraordinarily troublesome.

There are a handful of time-consuming tasks that may assist us take care of this:

  • Bottle Bricks: A plastic bottle may be stuffed tightly with plastic baggage and cut-up packaging to create a constructing brick. While there isn’t any approach this could go code for a house within the US (they’re used for that in projects around the world), these bricks can be nice for placing collectively small backyard partitions or borders. They’d work for making outdoor benches. They are helpful, and it takes a very long time — loads of packaging — to build up sufficient to do a mission. That means we are able to have a approach of holding plastic out of landfills for years and making one thing of it in the long run.
  • Pillow Stuffing: Outdoor pillows work significantly better when they’re water resistant, which is considered one of plastics’ extra redeemable qualities. Again, plastic baggage and mushy plastics we amass may be saved someplace for months at a time to create sufficient filler for a few pillows to go exterior. Just purchase or make some cushion covers and use the plastic for stuffing.
  • Plarn: Generally made with plastic purchasing baggage, plarn (plastic yarn) could possibly be one thing to make with massive baggage which might be wrapped round home equipment and related objects. Essentially, the luggage are minimize into loops, the loops knotted collectively and the ensuing strand used to crochet or knit issues, similar to reusable purchasing baggage, exterior rugs, desk mats, and so forth.

Plastic Containers

Sometimes plastic containers, say for soy yogurt or blueberries, work their approach into our orbit as nicely. We can attempt to keep away from them or change our existence, however generally life is as idyllic as we’ve deliberate it to be. The greatest technique to deal with plastic containers is to easily reuse them as containers. Rather than dashing out to purchase organizers and such, maintain out for them to be constructed with future containers {that a} yogurt behavior will create. For any sort of packaging used for produce, go to farmers markets and see if distributors are fascinated about reusing them.

Once this effort to account for our personal plastic waste is in full swing, we understand each how a lot disposable plastic we’re chargeable for a mean and that, whereas we are able to repurpose it, life is way less complicated once we don’t must take care of all of it. Plastic doesn’t simply go away. We’ve solely grow to be accustomed to it disappearing into piles others must climb.

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