Introduction: A Small Case for Plastic?
How many of us are aware of exactly how much plastic is being dumped around the world? Well, there’s enough littering our tips, polluting our air following incineration, and the rest? The rest of it has formed a massive trash island in the Pacific Ocean. Not good.
The following video by Mikele Buckley (posted to YouTube on 29 May 2016 - all rights to this video to Mikele Buckley) clearly shows some of the impact that our commercialised use-it-today-and-dump-it-tomorrow culture is having on our environment: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4lQrDVyWPhM
Don’t be confused by my title, I’m not in any way defending the ongoing production of plastic, or the poor methods which it is often disposed of. What I am proposing here is, how can we successfully reuse what we already have instead of just dumping it ? (assuming of course that you don’t have a proper recycling system available to you).
So, here’s my attempt to not add to the existing pollution problem, while at the same time turn something that was potentially ready for the bin back into something that can again be used.
Step 1: Before...
Here it is. The tea-towel rack. It’s given up. It’s bent out of shape, baskets have broken loose, literally, some of their lugs that lock into the upright pieces are broken. It’s done for. Or is it?
Step 2: Selecting the Wood
Here’s something else that can be recycled, pallet-wood. Thankfully I have a sporadic free supply of pallets, I’m usually able to pick several up every month or so. So, with an idea in my head, I started measuring and cutting. Incidentally, the folding worktable is made entirely of recycled materials, pallet-wood, old door hinges, old bolts and crews, old 3-ply.
Step 3: Tidying Up the Wood
My dad’s old Record Jack Plane was put to good use cleaning up the pallet-wood. Even this wood that would normally be dumped or burned can clean up rather nice.
Step 4: Assembly
Here I’ve laid out one side of the rack on two pieces of wood. It was securely screwed to the wood, and I did the same for the other side. I didn’t get any other photos, but simply put, I reassembled the rack. Where plastic lugs were broken I used UHU General Purpose glue, which frankly I used almost everywhere during assembly, and also screwed the baskets to the sides as an added precaution.
Can I suggest, that if you are going to do what I did, paint all the pieces first, not at the end, it turned out to be a nightmare task.
Step 5: All Done!
This is the finished product. Okay, the baskets do sag a little in the centre, but does that matter? I set out the see if I could recycle something that ordinarily would’ve been trashed, and I’ve succeeded, and perhaps made it better. It is no longer just a flimsy lightweight science experiment, it is now framed and supported by the resource that God made for us – wood. Recyclable, biodegradable, naturally produced, long-lasting, renewable, and so forth. Plastic? A chemical cocktail of materials that are hazardous to our environment both during production, and disposal, and short-lived. Why is it then that this material produced by scientists with big budgets, and bills to match, is so cheap when the naturally occurring better alternative is so expensive? This rack originally cost very little to buy, whilst the wooden alternative cost a relative fortune. In any case, it’s not science that has given this rack new life saving it from the bin, it’s good old-fashioned wood.
So, what do you think? Long live wood….