Portable Device to Turn Plastic Bottles Into Rope

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Plastic PET bottles at the end of their shelf life usually face two options :

  • They are either thrown away at the landfills (which is a threat to the environment) or
  • they are recycled (better option than the landfill).

But there is a third option (far better in my humble opinion) which is reuse. These containers can be reused in a lot of fun and creative ways and I am sure that www.instructables.com already has many instructables for that.

One thing that you can make out of a plastic bottle is rope. This kind of rope is quite strong and has heat shrinking properties.

I tried making some contraptions in the past to cut pet bottles to produce string. The results were poor. Either the contraption was bulky and required a table or a vice to secure it in place or the string jammed somewhere during cutting and broke.

After many prototypes I made a device which is simple, efficient and portable. You can have it with you in a backpack, in your car or in your zombie apocalypse survival kit ;-).

Step 1: Gather Some Materials

For this instructable you need :

  • a rectangular piece of wood
  • a Phillips screwdriver
  • some metallic strapping tape (see above photo)
  • a paper cutter blade
  • 4 wood screws 1.5 cm in length
  • a hacksaw
  • resin paper

Choose a piece of wood that can easily fit in your hand. Mine is 4.5 x 4.5 x 17 cm.

Step 2: Assembly

You will have to make two slits as noted in the above photos. I used a hacksaw for that because it has a slim blade.

Continue, installing the metallic strapping tape pieces and fasten them at the wood with the screws. Their purpose is to hold the blade in place.

Step 3: Let's Make Some Rope!

Make a pilot cut at the bottom of the bottle and insert it in the device as shown in the picture.

Grab the protruding piece and pull it using your hands or pliers. Continue pulling until all the bottle is consumed.

The rope that comes out has width 0.5 cm. If you want, you can make multiple slits for multiple rope widths.

Step 4: Using Your Rope

You can use your rope in the garden or anywhere else you need to tie things up.

This material shrinks and hardens when heat is applied so you can fasten things extra tight.

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    99 Discussions

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    ThomasK19

    2 years ago

    rope |rōp| noun

    a length of strong cord made by twisting together strands of natural fibers such as hemp or artificial fibers such as polypropylene.

    This is a string. for a broadness of 3mm you get around 5m from a large PET bottle which is worth 0.15€ deposit. Sounds like a quite expensive solution.

    19 replies
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    FillimenaBThomasK19

    Reply 2 years ago

    It might be an expensive option for you. Not everybody lives in an area where plastic recycling is available. I live on a boarder island in a rural area where only aluminum, paper and glass recycling is available. If you can't find a use for all the other "stuff" it goes into the landfill. Before criticizing think of all the other places in the world that don't have recycling available, much less require a deposit or buy back such items. I think this is a wonderful idea to reuse those pesky water bottles.

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    ThomasK19FillimenaB

    Reply 2 years ago

    Even better would be an engagement for a) introducing a refund and b) avoidance of using one way bottles at all. My only real critique on this i'ble is that it announces a rope and offers a string.

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    GrimarrThomasK19

    Reply 2 years ago

    Here in the US we used to have a mandatory deposit on bottles and cans. A few states still do, but for the most part the beverage companies lobbied on behalf of their bottlers to do away with the deposit system and replace it with recycling awareness campaigns which are much cheaper to pay for than the deposits. The end result is that while people used to go out of their way to pick up bottles and cans from the side of the road for the deposit, people don't bother as much anymore. So there tends to be a lot more litter.

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    ThomasK19Grimarr

    Reply 2 years ago

    Interesting observation. Here in Germany there are quite some people that make (a part of) their living by collecting bottles and returning them.

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    JesseJamesh2oThomasK19

    Reply 2 years ago

    here they are called fringers.. It is interesting that during WWll, America was a huge three R nation. Victory gardens instead of just grass..? Times don't always change for the better sir.?

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    ThomasK19JesseJamesh2o

    Reply 2 years ago

    No, obviously not. Using the desert as dump is as good as using the ocean for the same purpose. There's a big vortex (can't recall the exact size but it's something like France or more) which is completely covered by plastic waste. Making plastic tapes where you can't return those bottles is not bad for sure. But how much tape do you need? And what happens when those stripes get brittle by UV light?

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    taloskritiThomasK19

    Reply 2 years ago

    Linguistic correction accepted. My apologies, but since English isn't my mother tongue, I find the meaning of the words "rope" and "string" quite subtle. Thanks for teaching me the difference.

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    JesseJamesh2otaloskriti

    Reply 2 years ago

    pay no mind. Many of us Americans, me included, have a time with just English..??

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    JesseJamesh2otaloskriti

    Reply 2 years ago

    pay no mind. Many of us Americans, me included, have a time with just English..??

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    ThomasK19taloskriti

    Reply 2 years ago

    Interestingly, this is the third i'ble within a week that comes up with (more or less) this title. Seems it has been bred and now the chickens came out xD They are a birds of a feather since they all use rope and produce a string.

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    JesseJamesh2oThomasK19

    Reply 2 years ago

    read below please. All rope starts out as cord. In the navy the deck hands would weave the cordage into what they needed. Not all of the rope of course, but as needed. Even if you follow the natural laws of the three ( reuse, reduce, recycle) other may not. This is a good way to repurpose. You do bring up a point my good man.?

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    nealm59ThomasK19

    Reply 2 years ago

    Most ropes that I have encountered in my life time all start out as strings, like the twig a string will break if used on it's own but as you combine more and more strings the rope begins to grow stronger. take a hand full of uncooked spaghetti noodles about a pound of them, and try and break all of them at the same time, this will give you a better idea of how a rope is really made.

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    hhanlinThomasK19

    Reply 2 years ago

    Sadly, some of us live in areas where the deposit is neither payed nor redeemable. The bottles are just trash or recycling.

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    JesseJamesh2ohhanlin

    Reply 2 years ago

    yes, this is often the case. In Nevada they are very lax in the three Rs. With so much desert, many don't even think about garbage.

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    hhanlinhhanlin

    Reply 2 years ago

    And I misspelled Paid (*blush*)

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    ThomasK19hhanlin

    Reply 2 years ago

    Never mind: irregular verbs are present in all languages, though English is known to spell Ox and pronounce Cow (I don't remember which celebrity did say that).

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    eng_AndyThomasK19

    Reply 2 years ago

    I wouldn't even call it a string, which is usually made of fibres, this is a tape with no adhesive.