As we all know, plastic takes hundreds of thousands of years to decompose, during which time its toxic attributes pollute the ecosystems and sometimes even pollutes the scarce groundwater reserves. Moreover, as our bad luck would have it, plastic is one of the materials that we use very extensively. This owes to the fact that it is one of the most inexpensive and versatile materials on the planet. Therefore, it becomes necessary that we find better alternatives to plastic. However, even after having alternatives, the plastic waste that we have accumulated until now will remain. The best way to deal with it to recycle it. In this article, we would tell you 10 best ways to recycle plastic drinking straws. Click on these links if you want to know how to recycle plastic bottles or plastic cups.
Why Recycle plastic drinking straws?
Plastic being affordable and water resistant at the same time, is being used to produce everything from electronic gadgets to drinking straws. While there are some plastic products which we use for a longer period of time, products such as plastic water bottles and straws are discarded after single use. Trying to solve the issues related to single use plastic products, several ingenious minds have thought of creative ways to recycle straws into innovative products that can be reused. Here is a list of 10 such products that are crafted out of plastic drinking straws.
Read More: Seven things you can do with plastic waste
10 – Best ways to recycle plastic drinking straws
1. Plastic straw necklace
This is a perfect necklace made out of plastic straws that is easy to make and would be a great fun activity for your little girls! You can even try to make a matching bracelet and ring with the straws. For making the necklace, you would need yarn, straws and a pair of scissors. Firstly, one straw should be cut 5 inches long and then the pieces should be folded along the middle and fastened with a long piece of yarn – leaving a good length of yarn on either sides. Then the remaining straws should be cut into smaller pieces. These pieces can then be strewn with the help of the yarn on both the ends. After achieving the right length, tie a knot with the two ends of the yarn and voila your necklace is ready.
2. Sweet Candy Gift Box
This candy pinwheel-cum-gift box is a great party decoration and is also very simple to make. The things that we require for this craft is 2 pieces (15 cm) colored paper of good thickness, two smaller square pieces with sides measuring 5 cm, red paint marker, scissors, glitter glue that matches the design on the paper, 1 straw, one pin, a piece of crepe, a pencil and candies.
The craft has to be done in two parts. In the first part i.e. making the base, you have to first take a large piece of paper and fold it equally and then unfold on either sides. Then you must bring each corner to the middle and press the paper down. Now turn the paper over and do the same on the other side. Then gently pull out the edges so that it looks like a 4-cup container .
In the second part i.e. make a pinwheel and fasten it with a circle cut from the crepe paper and a pin. The pin should be fastened to the straw. Now join the two parts – the candy-filled base and the pinwheel by making a small slit in the base to slip the straw smoothly. Fill the base with lots of candies.
3. Straw Plane
This easy straw craft is basically a tissue-filled fuselage with cardstock wings and the best part is that it can fly pretty smoothly too! For making the straw plane you would require a flexible straw, a sheet of cardstock, a soft paper napkin, tape (light), and a pair of scissors. Firstly, you must cut the straw from the bend and then twist a napkin and stuff it in the cavity of the straw so that it completely fills it up. Then fold the cardstock in half and outline one wing and tail – which, when cut, will produce two joined tails and wings. Stick them carefully on to the straw fuselage with tape and your plane is ready to take-off!
4. Hawaiian Lei
Girls enjoy making crafts that are exotic and wearable too, so the Hawaiian Lei would make a great activity. For this, you would required Crayola Color Explosion paper which you can cut into many flower shapes and can also decorate them with glitter. Punch holes in the middle of the glowers and then take a ribbon/yarn which would be around 61 cm long. Cut the straws into 5 cm pieces each and string them with the help of the yarn – alternating between a flower and a straw piece to create a beautiful Hawaiian Lei.
5. Baby big eyes
This is a beautiful and colorful craft that can really hold a baby’s attention with its vibrant colors and patterns. For making this, you would need to cut a sheet of construction paper in half to make a long and thinner strip. Fold the paper into a wide fan to make four blocks. Then use Crayola Washable Classic Broad Line Markers for drawing dark beautiful patterns on each block. Stick and wrap the ends on to a straw with glue.
6. Basketball Hoop Game
This is a craft that is suitable for children who are 8 years and above. For this craft, you would require craft foam, egg carton cup, masking tape, cardboard, straw, scissors, hot glue gun and glue sticks, a chenille stem (optional) and also a pom-pom (2.5 cm in diameter).
Firstly, you must cut the egg carton cup (9 x 12 cm) and poke a hole at the bottom and cut it off big enough to fit a pom-pom. This forms the basket ball net. Cut the back board out of craft foam and fasten it to a straw along with the egg carton. Then the entire structure can be place on the cardboard for which you need to make a small hole and then fill it up with hot glue and fasten the straw into it. Then you can use a pompom to play basketball!
7. Circles Lollipop
For this craft, you would require construction paper or craft foam, a glue stick, drinking straws, scotch tape, compass, scissors and glitter glue. First, draw three circles small medium and large and cut them out. Glue the circles together – from big to small and then fasten a straw to the back with tape. You can now decorate your lollipop by using glitter glue.
8. Crepe Paper Roses
For paper roses you would require, red and green crepe paper, green paper straws or plastic straws, scissors and tape. First take a rectangular piece of red crepe paper and fold it in 9 rectangular segments around 7cm x 10 cm each. Then sketch a petal to the center of the folded crepe paper and cut to make 9 petals. Then spread the petals with the help of your thumb to give it a flower shape. Attach each petal to the straw using tape until all the petals are arranged to make a flower.
9. Beaded Curtain
For this craft you would require yarn, neon colored straws and beads. You can make cheaper and amazing looking beaded curtains by simply cutting plastic straws into 2 inch segments and then threading them into 5 feet of yarn with beads in between for decoration. The beaded curtains not only turn out to look beautiful but are also very durable – making it an excellent way to recycle old plastic straws!
10. Bubble Mania
For this fun bubble craft, you would require a sheet of card stock (8.5″ x 11″), bowl and spoon, scissors, tape, 1 cup water, 2 tbsp dish-washing liquid, plastic straw and 2 tbs glycerin. For this, you need to make a bubble blower by rolling the card stock into a conical shape and affixing it with tape. The narrow end should be trimmed to 1/2 inch diameter. Then prepare a mix of water, glycerin and dish-washing liquid in order to perform many tricks.
In the first trick, dip the wider end of the cone into the bubble mix and hold it inside for a couple of seconds, take it out and then quickly immerse it inside the solution again. Then point the cone to the ground and blow a large bubble and leave it attached to the cone by sealing the narrow end with your finger. Now poke the bubble with a pair of scissors, and the bubble will not burst but the scissors will pass through the bubble very smoothly without bursting it.
In the second trick blow a bubble just like in the first trick and then also dip the straw in the bubble solution (just wet 2 inches of it). Insert the soapy end of the straw inside the big bubble and then gently blow the straw to create a bubble within a bubble.