Introduction: Pop Bottle Heat Shrink Straps/Tubing

Picture of Pop Bottle Heat Shrink Straps/Tubing

Yet another use for this PET stuff.
Got a bundle of sticks you need secured for transport?
Need something strong to hold some poles together TIGHTLY?
Hate untying unruly knots?
Hate knots that come undone on the highway?

For this instructable, I will use one piece construction, but it can be cut into long strips and used similarly.

If you cut this stuff into strips as in Rope,cord,string from Recycled Water Bottles! by bara1962, you will not be limited to the tube diameter and will be able to secure larger irregular shapes, but you will also lose the strength and "convenience" provided by one solid piece.

Note - Various bottles can be cut into tubes of varying diameters/shapes and lengths as required.

Step 1: What You Need

Picture of What You Need

Utility knife or scizzors (If using scizzors, they work better in one direction than the other)
Marker for uniform width, if desired.

Heat gun or other source of heat.

Something to secure ..... that will not melt.

Step 2: What You Do

Picture of What You Do

1. Cut the ends off of a clear beverage bottle made of PET to form a tube. Cut tube into rings or straps if desired. One could leave one end of the bottle on to form a waterproof, durable cap, in fact.

2. Slip tube/ring over stuff to be secured together. Techniques for securing a strap will be your choice.

3. Heat and serve. Foil, or layers of, could be used as a heat shield if securing something temperature sensitive.

Step 3: Applications

Picture of Applications

Temporarily, or permanently, securing sticks, or equivalent, together.

Sealing the ends of tubes.

Belts. To be "secured" in place, and tightened with heat. There are two examples of latching systems below, in sequential order with notes on pics. My weaving skills are lacking, so you are on your own there, but you just know a heat shrink web would be a creature all it's own.

Hanging decorations and other stuff. Be careful to apply heat only to what you want heated.


wupme (author)2009-01-14

Thats really usefull if you run out of zipties or something. To bad in Germany they got that 25cent deposit for each bottle, so using zipties is probably cheaper :(

omnibot (author)wupme2010-06-30

Sweden also has a refund system for PET-bottles but only soda-bottles. I've noticed that everything from shampoo and orange juice to draincleaner and underwear come in PET containers. I find it really useful.

wiley coyote (author)wupme2009-01-14

I'm actually glad to hear that. Sorry. If they had a 25 cent deposit here, people would pick them up! Good in a pinch though.

madhops0620 (author)wiley coyote2009-01-15

here in Michigan we have a 10 cent deposit on our cans and bottles. Apparently it was put into place in the late '70s because there were so many cans and bottles laying around on streets and stuff because people were to lazy to throw them away. Now you hardly see any around here

Fred82664 (author)madhops06202009-02-21

No Dude back in the 70s bottles was and glass was reused more often and at as plastics became cheaper to use in food and drink packing most of the glass packages went a way. There was much debate on the safety on glass versus plastic. I think can understand that one and why. Many of days in the 70s I would walk miles of roads picking up pop bottles and chasing them in to take a hot chick out for a date among other things that was we done in the 70s heheh I will not list them here. I like to keep a good standing with admin! ; )

Pinky212 (author)Fred826642010-02-24

Back in the '70's, my cousin in Green Cove Springs, Florida, walked the highway ditches and boulevards (including the Interstate) throughout high school, picking up bottles. That's how he actually saved enough money to go to college, although I can't swear that he didn't use a day's worth of picking them up in exactly the way you did.  LOL

Fred82664 (author)Pinky2122010-02-24

LOL yes college or educational  investment would probably been better in the long run then the hot date as well as the other things I did not list. LOL  But they suer was fun at the time  

Woooo!!! Michigan!!!! hahah. How are you liking this weather? lol

Gotta love it. We've had the same snow on the ground for about 2 weeks now. It just won't melt!

i know right. and now its near whiteout outside >_

I live in michigan :)

madhops0620 (author)nepheron2009-01-16

what part of michigan are you from?

i'll like it a lot more if we dont have school tomorrow :)

Dude. I thank you. I didn't have school today. It must have been your comment :) I got out of 4 Exams lol

Marche (author)madhops06202009-01-24

True dat. I make my caffine money from cans and bottles I find.

A good name (author)madhops06202009-01-16

Dude that's too cool... ours are only like 3-10 cents (10 being the big pop bottles and 3 being the cans) But if they were all 10 cents you'd be rolling in dough.

madhops0620 (author)A good name2009-01-16

ours are all 10 cents no matter what size (plastic bottles, 2 liters, and cans. but we dont make money off of it because the whole point of the deposit is so that you pay when you buy it as an incentive to recycle it. however, ive bought soda before in ohio and returned it in michigan for 10 cents a can(5 cents profit). apparently there was a man who was doing that for years and made around a thousand dollars but got in trouble for it lol.

bertdog911 (author)madhops06202009-01-18

well you cant return any cans from other states to michigan beacuse of the bar code.Unless you were bringing them in to mom and pop stores if so ur an ..........

madhops0620 (author)bertdog9112009-01-18

do you know how recent that system is? because ive done it a few times myself if I buy it out of state while visiting friends or family, and the machines have accepted them

A good name (author)madhops06202009-01-16

Lol link the article pls?

madhops0620 (author)A good name2009-01-16

i'll do my best to find it, it's pretty old though

wiley coyote (author)madhops06202009-01-15

Put a value on it and someone will pick it up. Unfortunately, someone has to throw it there first.

wupme (author)wiley coyote2009-01-15

Yeah its actually a good thing. But still, makes you think twice before you use one for something else ;)

wiley coyote (author)wupme2009-01-15

It's unfortunate, but it appears that our wallets are the only way to get some people to care about the environment. On the bright side, it keeps people employed.

wupme (author)wiley coyote2009-01-16

Well they didn't create that some years ago because of the enviroment. Apparently the tate of reusing bottles was to low and to much throw away botles were sold (under 70% or something like that). So they created that 25cent deposit to force people to buy reusing bottles. But it didn't quite turnt out as they wanted. Since the created that law enforced deposit on throw away bottles, the reusing bottles rate dropped to even under 35%, people now only buy the throw away ones because the system behind it is simpler. Well still, people now pick up bottles, even if that wasn't intendet when that law came out ;-)

yzzid (author)2009-01-28

im not too sure about the PET bottle actually emitting any fumes, i think this is a NOVEL idea and can be used for a Million purposes.. heck it can prolly be used as a dirt cheap Lamination of some sort...

tercero (author)2009-01-14

Meh. I'll stick to cable ties. They're dirt cheap, and they don't give off toxic gas if and when you use them. Unlike burning PET.

davee52uk (author)tercero2009-01-16

In the UK, cable ties are widely available for free. They are stuck on any lampost, used previously for holding up some notice or other. You can cut them off and use them again.

wiley coyote (author)davee52uk2009-01-16

Nice reuse and highly convenient.

Father Christmas (author)tercero2009-01-14

as far as i know, this inst burning it. it is just causing ti to shrink. am i wrong?

As far as I know. I would still only do it in a well ventilated area, just in case. There is no odor from the PET and it starts to turn white, or become opaque, before it gets too hot. I would THINK that you are relatively safe as long as it stays clear. I could be wrong, but I've been breathing car exhaust my whole life, indirectly I might add, so it's all a relative thing to me.

awang8 (author)wiley coyote2009-01-14

Melting plastic (like PET bottles) gives off lots and lots of toxic fumes. Do it with a fume extractor or in a very well ventilated area. Even if it doesn't smell, the fumes are all around you.

wiley coyote (author)awang82009-01-15

That's basically the stance I take. I try not to inhale in the vicinity and don't have open food in the area ..... just to be safe. What I don't know will hurt me.

Plasmana (author)2009-01-16

Wow! That is avery clever idea!

wiley coyote (author)Plasmana2009-01-16

Thanks. Stumbled on it by accident, trying to figure out this "no cost" hydroponics stuff. This PET stuff is versatile.

ggiihh1 (author)2009-01-15

would a hairdryer on high work? (instead of a heat gun)

wiley coyote (author)ggiihh12009-01-15

Not the one I have, but I'm sure that a good, high power one would work. Boiling water causes this stuff to change shape. Depending on the application, there are many torture devices that women attack their hair with, that get hot enough to have some effect ....... I think, due to the creation of steam, the sizzle and the smell of burnt hair that often accompanies these device's use.

cfishy (author)2009-01-14

Cool! What heat gun are you using?

wiley coyote (author)cfishy2009-01-14

Canadian Tire JobMate Special. Every tool I use is "K-Mart Special" type quality.

jeff-o (author)2009-01-14

This is excellent info to have. I'll remember it if/when I need to secure a bundle of something or otherwise heat-shrink something that I can't use regular heat shrink for.

wiley coyote (author)jeff-o2009-01-14

Yeah, it's one of those pleasant side effect things that I saw potential for when trying to cut this stuff off. It gets strong when it gets thick!

nagutron (author)2009-01-13

Just to clarify: does the plastic actually shrink and tighten when heated, or does it simply soften and thus conform to the shape of the thing being wrapped? I can see both being useful, but actual shrinking would be more useful.

wiley coyote (author)nagutron2009-01-13

It softens, becomes pliable, then shrinks. It all happens quickly, but with practice and proper temperature controls, you could definitely use both "states" to your advantage.

kelseymh (author)2009-01-13

Cool application! If you leave the ends free, does the heat-shrinking actually work? I'm guessing that the knot will self-tighten. You might consider moving the "after" pictures out to a separate step, with a discussion of applications, limitations, gotchas, etc.

wiley coyote (author)kelseymh2009-01-13

Yes, but you would have to secure it well, somehow. You can cut interlocking shapes into the ends of straps, but keep in mind that they will change when melted. Holes get larger. Depending on the "knot", a layered weave with locking folds could possibly be made self tightening. Other than that, you could cut holes and loop around things or attach a "buckle" to the ends. Will do. I thought it might be confusing.

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