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Creative ideas for upcycling ocean waste

upcycling plastic ocean waste at Bawah Reserve

It is indeed a sad fact that our oceans are full of waste, and our little paradise isn’t exempt from this pollution – as much as 100kg of waste washes up on our shores every month! We work diligently to keep our beaches pristine with regular beach clean-ups, and, being a remote island, we try wherever possible to make use of the waste that we collect.

Upcycling has become an exciting and rewarding team activity for our team – and we thought you might like to see some of their ingenious and creative upcycling ideas. Maybe you could try one or more of them at home? 


Sakti’s reinventions of glass bottles

Here’s how Sakti, Head of Activities, makes candles and hanging baskets from glass bottles washed up on our shores.

 

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Wine bottles, beer bottles, or some of the larger water bottles work really well for this upcycling project. To safely cut a glass bottle into two, you will need a glass bottle cutter.  You can find a reasonably priced one on Amazon.

The Hanging Bottle Basket

1) Cut
HubSpot Video

Cut the bottle into two.

Aim to cut the bottle around 10cm from the base. This leaves you with one longer piece from the top and one smaller piece from the base.  The neck of the bottle, with the cork or lid attached, becomes a pretty hanging basket with these few simple steps. The base can later become a candle - see below.

 

2) Hang

 

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Start by wrapping some string firmly around the neck of the bottle and then extend the end of it up away from the cork or lid end. Do this 3 times, so that you have 3 long strings – and then tie the 3 ends together. This should provide enough support to hang your new bottle. (See photo)
Choose the length of your strings according where you plan to hang your new bottle basket.

 

3) Fill

it with water and insert your potted seedlings. Hang it, and watch them grow!

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Top tip: Use different-coloured glass bottles, and then hang them at varying heights to create a pretty feature wall or outside area.
 

The Candle

Now for the candle. The easiest way to make this candle is with a kit, which should include the wick, the centring device and the wax. Try to go for soy wax, as this will burn cleanly and smoothly – without any of the unhealthy chemicals found in traditional paraffin wax. Try here for kits.


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Follow the instructions on the kit to first place the wick, then melt the wax and finally pour it
carefully into the base of the glass bottle (leftover from your hanging basket )

Let the wax harden and you are done!

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Top tip: Add spices like cinnamon sticks, cloves or star anise – these not only look pretty but will smell delightful!

 


Eva’s sustainable green thumb


Here’s how Eva, Head of Sustainability, uses washed-up plastic bottles to grow her seedlings and washed-up coconut husks to separate plants in the permaculture garden.

 

Seedling feeder

A plastic bottle with its lid on can be a great feeder for seedlings. Simply turn it on its side and cut out holes that your small plant holders will fit into. Tie some string around the neck
and the base. Fill it with water and then insert your potted seedlings. Hang it up, and watch them grow!

 

Gardening separators

 

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A lot of coconut husks wash up on shores throughout Asia. Though these are natural and organic, and so are not considered waste, they do clog the ocean. However, they make a brilliant natural separation solution for the garden. They look pretty too, and also – most importantly! – they don’t add any pollutants into the soil.


Anambas Foundation

 

 

Out in the community, the Anambas Foundation has been working with local island communities on fun ways to recycle waste into useful items that can also go on to be sold, creating new sources of income.  Here are some of the fabulous bags and penholders produced by recent community projects.

 

 

Do you have any wonderful ideas for upcycling ocean waste? We would love to hear from you!

Drop us a note at georgina@bawahreserve.com.

 

 

Or why not come to Bawah and see our creations in reality! Make your Bawah enquiry here: 

Start Your Journey

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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