Introduction: Recycled Plastic “I Spy” Jar

I am an environmental science teacher and a tennis coach. I go through a lot of tennis string, which is mostly plastic. I wanted to come up with a way to recycle that plastic. I also wanted to make something my kids could play with. This also doubles as a “sensory” bin as long as you don’t let littles eat it seeing as it looks like sprinkles.

What you see is the clipped string for about 25 rackets. I string over 120 a year. You can use other substitutes as long as you can chop them up easy into small pieces, like straws.

Have fun!

Step 1: Find Your Medium

Whatever you are going to use, make sure you can get a lot of it. I picked tennis strings cause I can get a lot of them. I used small clippers (spring loaded works best) but you can use scissors too depending on how hard your plastic is.

Step 2: Clipping the String

I clipped it in a larger bag so the pieces wouldn’t fly everywhere. I clipped them “sprinkle size” length.

Step 3: Choosing a Container

Like I said in the intro, I like to recycle. I chose an old water bottle. Make sure your container is clear and not too large (or you’ll give up before you clip enough). I lot of old excercise plastic bottles work good too.

Step 4: Adding Clipped Strings to Bottle

I just roll up a paper and use it as a makeshift funnel. I pour it straight from the bag.

Step 5: Choosing “I Spy” Pieces

My wife loves Christmas so she picked out a bunch to make a Christmas Jar. You can order any type of small buttons or charms from a major online retailer or get some at your local craft store. Maybe you’ve got some around the house you can reuse.

Step 6: Finish

Add your “I Spy” pieces to the jar and screw the lid back on. If you want it permanent, super or hot glue it on. I also use the materials as a sensory bin for my kids.
Plastics Contest

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Plastics Contest