Posts tagged "HDPE"

How can I reuse or recycle a Cillit Bang spray bottle?

Shelagh emailed to ask:

How can I reuse a Cillit Bang spray? It seems impossible to remove the nozzle to fill with a product.

I’ve never used it so I don’t know what the bottle is like – but I’m going out to the shops in a few minutes so I’ll have a good look at one (that’s guaranteed to get me some weird looks in the cleaning aisle ;) ). I’ll also check what type of plastic it is for recycling purposes (my guess would be HDPE, plastic number 2, which is widely recycled, but I’ll check).

We’ve covered pump action spray bottles before – people reuse them as plant spritzers or personal misters, or refill them with vinegar or homemade cleaning solutions to make their own cleaning sprays — but all of those reuses require getting into the bottle again. Anyone got any helpful hints on how to remove the nozzle section from a Cillit Bang bottle without breaking it?

Any other reuse ideas for if the nozzle section is stuck on?

How can I reuse or recycle plastic chopping boards?

We’ve had an email from Miranda:

Can I recycle an old plastic chopping board? It’s stained and scarred and we don’t want to use it any more.

As far as I can tell, most plastic chopping boards are made from HDPE (resin code 2), which can be recycled and is quite widely collected – but many places that do collect it will only collect it in certain formats (for example, plastic bottles). If HDPE is collected in your area, you could phone the recycling authority to see what they think.

If it was us, I’d probably keep it to reuse in some way – as a cutting mat for crafts or as a surface protector when glueing or something like that.

Any other reusing ideas? Or recycling advice?

How can I reuse or recycle plastic tablecloths?

After last month’s straw placemats and coasters post, I got thinking about plastic “disposable” tablecloths – the type people buy as a cheap way to decorate their table for children’s (and other) parties.

They’re usually thin sheets of plastic, either brightly coloured or covered with character pictures – so they seem like ideal candidates for upcycling — any specific ideas?

They’re also good as table/floor/everything covers for during messy crafts sessions – or use a no sew poncho pattern to turn them into splash-proof ponchos for very messy art activities!

Of course, it would be better to reduce in the first place – buy multi-purpose washable textiles or easy-clean oilcloth ones. Or if you don’t want a bunch of 5 year olds to ruin your best linen, cover tables with cheap blank newsprint/sugar paper and let the kids decorate it themselves — the best bits can be cut out and kept as a memento and the rest can go into your paper recycling.

As for actually recycling plastic ones, they’re usually made from HDPE (resin code 2) like carrier bags – so can be recycled alongside shopping bags.

Any other ideas for reusing and upcycling them?

How can I reuse or recycle the plastic bags from cereal boxes?

Like tin foil the other week, I can’t believe we haven’t covered this one already.

To extend the product shelf lift and to protect it from moisture, most breakfast cereal is wrapped in some sort of plastic – either a snug film wrapping or, more frequently, a plastic bag/liner – inside its cardboard box.

The bags tend to be made from high-density polyethylene (HDPE), which is resin code 2 and so is theoretically recyclable wherever type 2 plastics are collected. (Do check with your local councils/collection spot though – some places don’t accept film type packaging, even when they accept the same resin code in bottle form.)

But what about reuses before recycling?

My father-in-love stores bread in them since they’re better quality than any sandwich bag you could buy for the purpose. Other people cut them open to use instead of wax paper when preparing many sticky items for baking, or when freezing things like burgers or dough.

What do you do with yours? What are your favourite recycling ideas?