Recycling is a big part of taking care of the environment, and people all over the world are coming up with new and innovative ways to use the plastic and glass that comes from recycling bottles. From solar water heaters to carpeting and even candles, recycled bottles present crafty people with an entire realm of possibilities.

Recycled Bottle Carpet

In recent years, flooring developers have discovered a process by which they are able to extract parts of recycled two-liter soda bottles to make ultra-soft carpeting fibers. This carpeting is known as a PET—or polyethylene terephthalate—carpeting, and it is available in a wide array of colors and textures. Believe it or not, walking around on recycled bottles has its advantages. It is said that PET carpeting insulates better than its standard counterparts, and it is easier to clean, too!

Candles Made from Recycled Bottles

Candle lovers know that their favorite candles can be made from all kinds of materials. Paraffin, beeswax, and even soy are all traditional candle making materials, and they are traditionally placed into a glass container for safe burning. Many candle makers have turned to the art of using recycled glass liquor, wine and beer bottles for beautifully decorated candleholders. Although the company does sometimes paint the outside of bottles, more often than not they simply use the bottle as-is for a more rustic feel.

Recycled Bottle Lamps

Recycled Bottle Lamps

There are many ways to create lamps from recycled glass bottles; some crafters simply use a tealight and leave the bottle as-is. Other designers are keen on melting down the glass in order to remake it into a hurricane or Tiffany-style lamp. Some lamps are entirely made from recycled glass bottles while others consist of a standard lamp with a recycled glass shade. The many colors and textures of glass bottles make designing recycled bottle lamps a pure joy, and their decorative uses are nearly limitless.

Bags from Recycled Bottles

Bags from Recycled Bottles
Credit: velcr0 via Flickr

Often considered a fashion statement for the environmentally active, bags made from recycled plastic bottles can be found in many online retailers. Although designers have yet to create designer purses and handbags, there is an abundance of beautiful and resilient tote bags that come in many different shapes, sizes and colors. These bags do not necessarily appear to be made from recyclable materials, so many people are able to shock those on the street who ask, “Where did you get your bag?”

Making Bottles from Bottles
Credit: euronodi via Flickr

Many states still offer a refund for returned glass beer, wine and soda bottles. Although these bottles are washed and refilled in many cases, the broken ones are often returned to their places of origin to be melted down and re-cast into new bottles. Many bottle makers have been doing this for decades, since obtaining broken bottles is much simpler than creating new glass. The reclaiming of broken bottles to make new ones is also extremely environmentally-friendly, making this a win-win situation.

Solar Water Heaters from Recycled Bottles

Believe it or not, it is completely possible to build a solar water heater from recycled glass bottles. Recently, a farmer in China has had his story showcased in several news magazines for doing just this very thing. The design is simple; the farmer simply lined up glass bottles in such a way that water flows through them very slowly. As everyone knows, glass bottles left in the sun can become very hot extremely quickly. Water flowing over or through a very hot surface picks up the temperature of that surface, making the solar water heater a truly innovative idea.

Wine Bottle Christmas Ornaments

There are several companies who have picked up on the idea of making Christmas ornaments from wine bottles, and this can be done in several different ways. Experienced glassblowers often melt down the glass bottles and add dyes to create solid colors or swirling patterns. Once they have done this, they simply blow the glass into beautiful holiday bulbs. Sometimes, these bulbs are hand painted by various artists, but the unpainted simple glass bulbs are just as beautiful. There are several online retailers that specialize in recycled glass ornaments for personal use or even gift-giving.

Recycled Bottle Countertops

In today’s day and age, kitchen countertops come in a wide range of materials. Plastics, laminates, marble and even wooden countertops are all very popular. Some manufacturers are now offering their customers something completely different—concrete countertops with recycled glass flecks. Believe it or not, these countertops are highly efficient, long lasting, and pleasing to the eye. The customer has a huge variety of color choices, so there is no reason why recycled bottle countertops cannot be created to match any kitchen décor.