Thursday, February 9, 2012

Upcycled Plastic Bottles & Bags: Unique & Beautiful Art

Who would have thought a plastic bag or a plastic water or soda bottle could be upcycled into something so unique and beautiful? Check out these unique upcycled products made by talented artists and I think you'll agree that one person's trash can definitely be another person's treasure.

unique flowers made from the bottoms of soda bottles (above and below) by Michelle Brand

What is PET?
PET aka polyethylene terephthalate is a highly recyclable plastic product made from oil. It is what water bottles and soda bottles are made from. Above is the recycling classification mark that is shown on the bottoms of bottles and other PET products. These products should always be recycled. 

2-liter bottle boxes (above and below) by Zitta Schnitt

PET Plastic bottle stick pin brooches (above) and bowl (below) by gulnurozdaglar on Etsy

PET plastic bottle jellyfish by Miwa Koizumi

PET plastic bangle bracelets

DIY jewelry stand made from recycled plastic bottles

Handbags made from recycled plastic bags

Recycled plastic bag chickens and snakes

Ruffled Black and White Lamp Shade made from Eco-Friendly Recycled Plastic Bags - Shade ONLY
Lampshade made from recycled plastic bags by Zipper8Lighting via Etsy

Mandala made from plastic bags by Virginia Fleck

Apple Eagle Original Design Recycled Fused Plastic Upcycled Tote T231
Tote made from fused plastic bags by Lousupcycles via Etsy

Chair made from recycled shopping bags on a steel frame by Ryan Frank

Cactus Plants Made From Upcycled Plastic BottlesPlastic bottle succulents

Plastic bottles at a landfill site...

Landfill decomposition rates:

Milk carton: 5 years

Plastic milk jug: 500 years

Aluminum can: 80 to 200 years

Plastic drinking bottles: hundreds of years

 Plastic bags: hundreds of years

Cigarette butt: up to five years & leaches toxins into the ground

Newspaper: 2 to 4 weeks or longer

Glass bottles: tens of thousands of years

Styrofoam: no sign of ever breaking down

(figures from

Have a great week!

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Article copyright ©Laura Beth Love 2020 and may not be republished in print or other media without express written permission from the author. For any link corrections please leave correct info in comment area.


  1. whoops, post just got eaten! let me try again. people are amazing what they can do to recycle and repurpose things. that jellyfish is absolutely stunning. so is the pile of bottles. hits the point home. don't know if you got my post a couple of weeks ago, but i broke a pretty dish and thought of you. i've saved it aside if you'd like me to send it to you. very pretty black and white. just shoot me an email!

    1. Glad you liked the post! I just left a note on your blog. Can you send me a pic of it? (to be sure I can use it, hate to have you send it if it's not something I can work with). And where can I get the Pinterest button you have? The only one I've found is one I have to embed in my main code and I'd rather have one that is a 'gadget.'

    2. ...Ok, I found the Pinterest button. On Pinterest. LOL

  2. No way! Love the fruit bowl, and totally the zipper thing. This is like.. totally fascinating.

  3. Wow - what creative ideas! The zipper boxes are hilarious and I love the jellyfish!

  4. the zipper boxes would be great for traveling. thanks for the ideas

  5. Would love to know how you did the bangle bracelets? I love all the ideas. Can't wait to try some of them for my students.

    1. Click on the link below the photo for more info on the bracelets

    2. Thank you so much.

  6. Thank you so much for linking up to and featuring my post! I love all the other great ideas of repurposing plastic bottles. And as you saying: one person's trash can definitely be another person's treasure. But despite all of these fantastic works of art, we should try not to buy plastic bottles or totes.

  7. With two thirsty teenage boys and a thirsty husband, I am drowning in plastic water bottles. Thanks so much for the great ideas and wonderful tutorials. I've started to make art from the bottles when I get home from work - it's my cheap therapy and keeps me from eating! Double bonus

    Tru Dee

  8. These are amazing and really neat, thanks for making this post! I was wondering about the possible harm of re-using the plastic? I have seen posts like this before and have always been wary to make something that food goes into out of re-used plastic because of the decomp. Any info would be appreciated.

    1. I wouldn't recommend using anything to store food in.

  9. Some great ideas. I have a friend who lives by a lake and has made a raft completely from recycled plastic bottles. It even has an old sofa and a sunshade on it.

  10. Fantastic ideas here. Definitely going to try. The jellyfish is just an amazing, beautiful yet troubling work of art.
    I am trying to start a business selling bags recycled from the fabric from discarded umbrellas- part of a growing international community working with this material.
    I collect umbrella recycling ideas and put them pn the board 'umbrella crafters' on my pinterest, under the name carminabiryani

  11. Your works so beautiful.
    I kept a lot of plastic bottles 'cause I would like to help the world but no idea how to recycle while my husband keep on always throw away.
    Thank you to light up my life how to save the world and he may change his mind.