Recycling in general is not a bad idea, but plastic bottles are of particular concern. They are everywhere, holding water and soft drinks and everything in between. Recycling them is beneficial because manufacturing them is potentially harmful.
Making the Bottle
Plastic bottles are made from Polyethylene Terephthalate (PTH). To make this plastic, manufacturers use petroleum products. Petroleum is derived from crude oil, which is a controversial substance to say the least. Oil is a non-renewable resource, and conserving as much of it as possible is a priority among environmentalists.
Plastic bottle manufacturing also produces emissions that may harm our atmosphere and subsequently our planet. Manufacturing plastic bottles from used ones, however, takes much less energy than making plastic bottles from raw materials.
Reduce Landfill Waste
Recycling means fewer plastic bottles in landfills and tips. Plastic takes anywhere from a century to a millennium to break down, and when you think about millions upon millions of plastic bottles piled up for generations, it does give you pause for thought.
It has been said that Americans each use 166 plastic bottles every year (on average), and there are 300 million of us. That’s a lot of bottles, and a lot of landfill space, even if half of those are recycled. (And less than half of all used plastic bottles make it to the recycling center.) Recycling keeps plastic bottles out of landfills and in use.
Not Just For Bottles
When plastic bottles are recycled, they are not necessarily made into more plastic bottles. They can be made into synthetic fibers that can be used for carpeting and clothing and other items. These fibers can be woven with cotton fibers to make strong cloth bags. Here are some other beneficial items that can be manufactured from used plastic bottles:
* Key chains
* Beanbag chairs (filled with polyester fiberfill made from plastic bottles)
* Ornate throw rugs
* Sleeping bags
* Coats and jackets
* Pet beds
* Lumber (such as is used for outdoor decks)
It seems that the uses for plastic bottles are only limited by people’s creativity! Recycling your plastic bottles gives life to all kinds of useful products that would otherwise use energy and resources to manufacture.
Around your home, you too can get creative and enjoy the benefits of recycling plastic bottles. Because the material is thin and flexible, plastic bottles can be cut into all sorts of different shapes to perform all kinds of functions. Bird feeders, candle holders, and home-made rain gauges are just some of the fun ways you can recycle plastic bottles around your home.