Super Simple Way to Re-use Plastic Bottles

One of our tipsters just sent in a fascinatingly simple trick for re-using plastic bottles and turning them into useful plastic string. It’s in Russian but between the translated English subtitles and visual demonstration, it’s quite easy to understand.

YouTube DIY survivalist [Адвокат Егоров] makes a lot of really cool tutorial videos on anything from making knives, forming parts with heated PVC pipe, making rings out of coins, or even how to increase the yield of your potato farm (what?). In this one he shows us how to make a very simple jig using a small piece of aluminum extrusion which can slice a plastic bottle into long ribbons which can then be used for many different things.

The jig is adjustable and you can easily produce different widths of the ribbon with ease. Why would you want plastic ribbon? He uses it as twine for tying things (it’s very strong), as well as a grip for his tools — simply by wrapping it around the handle of something tightly, and then using a hot air gun, you can form it in place to create a plastic handle.

Again, the video is in Russian, but you can translate the subtitles — it kind of helps.

It reminds us of the hack using ketchup bottles for a flexible dust hose for your CNC!

[Thanks Keith!]

38 thoughts on “Super Simple Way to Re-use Plastic Bottles

  1. Russia has great hackers. I’d like to see more russian hacks, It will be great if someone can traslate a few more.

  2. this is a great idea. The only problem we will have here in the US with it is that I swear every product now has to have stupid shapes/sizes/etc…… so that it may not be round all the time. However the round ones i do have this will get a try with.

    thanks a million for this link

    1. 3 reasons:

      1. Curved bottles look bigger and hold less product.
      2. Fancy looking bottles sell better than plain ones, supposedly, at least in the minds of marketing types.
      3. Ribbed bottles can be made thinner while retaining strength. Think corrugated cardboard.

      It is a shame though. I one tried to trash-source a few dozen round glass bottles for a large capacitor and found it rather tricky to get the right size/shape/thickness.

      1. oh i get the reasons they do it, just pointing out the obvious i guess. However there are still standards in my cleaning supply that should work out like la’s totally awesome and such.

      2. You forgot a reason, the bottles are usually filled at high temperature for pasteurization then capped. If it wasn’t for the corrugations or sloped sides or other little tricks, they would get a crushed in appearance due to the partial vacuum created by the liquid cooling.

        https://www.google.com/patents/US5704504

    2. Those two-liter soda bottles are probably the only thing you’ll find in the US that’s perfectly circular, but you might be able to find fancy imported soda somewhere else.

    1. There are PLA bottles now. Bottled water companies especially like the marketing appeal of “eco-friendly green biodegradable bottles” :)

    1. An interesting idea but doubt you’ll have too much success, weed eater line has a lot of additives, that’s why it’s a bad idea to print with it, all the extra crap will clog the head, there are fibers and things mixed in I believe. Also anything made with this will be extremely flimsy and light, not a good grass cutting candidate. Oh, and also the shape, WE line is typically round or triangular shaped this is a flimsy rectangular cross-section. But if you have other ideas how to get past these hurdles do try it! I’m not going to tell you it can’t be done, just some of the challenges you will face.

      1. As it’s CHEAP line, it may not matter quite so much (except for the fact that your yard may get loaded up with lots of tiny bits of PLA or PET).

        My recommendation, make a weed eater head that has at least six or eight double cuts that will allow you to run the line in and back out of the head. Use more lines, so each line will have less total load. Also, each “line””’is doubled.

      1. what if spools of 3d printer plastic were actually tape fed into the extruder? with an extruder designed to pull a tape type instead of round type spool, you might have something there.

        1. Hmm, what do you mean by tape type? All of the filaments stacked on top of each other in a very thin but very large diameter spool?

    1. If with better build you mean better looking then yeah, otherwise it works exactly the same as far as I can see. Except for the fancy spool.

      1. That’s kinda what better built means, isn’t it? If make a circuit on a breadboard, and the same circuit on a pcb, you’d say the pcb circuit was better built, wouldn’t you?

  3. This is one of the most genuinely useful hacks I’ve ever seen on HAD. Recycling plastic bottles into heat-shrinkable plastic cord AND it’s a fairly trivial device to make with common tools.

    Send THESE guys into space!

    I’ve got to try this for myself…

  4. Another video showed up after this one with some very creative uses for the ribbon.

    I liked the chair mesh. We have the same chairs from my grandparents and the mesh would always break. I ended up covering the seat area with some padded fabric. This might last longer, but the color is ugly.

  5. One thing that people seem to be forgetting is that these plastic bottles are chemically formulated in such a way that that they become brittle after a few years and break down. The longevity of the plastic string is a huge question, although I can still see it being useful; short term.

    1. Why Chuck Norris? I’d think mcguyver would be more suitable..

      Chuck Norris doesn’t need this device, he cuts the strips by round-house kicking the bottle through a hole in a plate of metal.

  6. This is a really great idea but I can’t think of a good use for the resultant plastic ribbon. Every idea I’ve seen substitutes for something which is cheap and readily available except for the heat shrinkable lashing and that’s something I would rarely have use for. Any better ideas?

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