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5 Amazing Things Made from Recycled Plastic

It’s really astonishing what a bit of innovation and eco-mindedness can do. Here are some of our favorite fantastic recycled packaging inventions:

Plastiki boat. The Plastiki boat is made of 12,500 2-liter PET bottles and other recycled plastic bits. David de Rothschild, Adventure Ecology founder, and a crew of six sailed the Plastiki 8,000 miles from San Francisco to Sydney to raise awareness about plastic waste in the ocean.

Earthships, which are (usually) passive solar houses, look a lot like landed spaceships. These biotecture buildings are made of mud, and recycled materials such as tires, aluminum cans and bottles. Want one? You can find Earthships for sale, or design your own.

Cardboard FM Radio. A radio made out of old boxes? Yep, this cardboard radio It runs on AA batteries, with a large speaker unit. It picks up FM signals, and you can also plug in your iPod. The radio is made mostly from recycled cardboard, and it can be recycled at the end of it’s life.

Beer bottle solar water heater. In Shaanxi province, Chinese farmer Ma Yanjun made a solar water heater out of hose pipes and 66 empty beer bottles. Water moves through and gets warmed by the sun, providing a hot shower for up to three people. More than ten other local families have built their own version of the heater.

Spiral Island. In 1998, British eco-pioneer Richart Sowa began constructing an artificial island made from nets and plastic bottles. Atop the bottles he placed plywood, bamboo, sand, and various plants. The island included a a two-story house with a solar oven and a composting toilet. Hurricane Emily destroyed the island in 2005, but Sowa built a replica: Spiral Island II.