Western Isles
 Western Isles of Scotland

Western Isles Recycle

Western Isles recycle first article is about how to recycle and reuse plastic.


Recycling plastic?

Reuse the plastic items first until reusing is no longer an option.
Refillable containers made from recycled plastic in the first place are best!

Tips to reuse plastic items:
Please add your suggestion to this list:
Email the webmaster

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Old fishnet from the beach etc attached to firmly placed posts divides the garden, making it visually more interesting, plus has a useful windbreak effect, and can be put to a height where the wind would blow over a nomal fence
Anu, Sorrel and Ela
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Clear plastic lids from big yogurt pots are perfect fit for some flowerpots to germinate seeds
Anne W
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Keep water in plasic bags (bashed into bits with rolling pin) as a cold compress
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Weaving Art: Strips of plastic woven together to make tablemats
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Cut tops and bottoms off milk bottles and insert half inside each other to make an aquaduct to transport water in summer from your drainpipe to veg patch
Sarah C

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Put ordinary polythene over your peat stack / item you want kept dry and hold down with old fish net from beach. Our boat and peat stack covered like this has resisted all gales including the 2005 Hurricane in Ness

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Cut the top end off same sized bottles and stack them for circular 
shelving to keep things in eg underwear, toys, hobby stuff etc..
C Green

Western Isles Recycle
The Woodland Trust recycles mobile phones to help preserve woodland habitats...to order a free posting envelope telephone: 0800 970 5097 quoting "Woodland Trust Bag" or email: WTbags@answerthecall.co.uk

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I stood my peat stack on top of old fishboxes last year - it kept much drier at the base.
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Use an empty 5 litre water bottle as a propagator. Cut three sides, leaving one as a hinge, around the top of the widest part. Pop plant in, close and wrap cling film around cut to seal and keep humidity levels up. Remove bottle cap every day for a short time to allow air to circulate or to breathe carbon dioxide into bottle to give plants a boost.
Sandy M
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Plastic boxes that mushrooms come in make great seed trays. Just heat a metal skewer and make holes in the bottom. This is smelly, it is best done outside, stack a few boxes inside each other and do all at once.

Western Isles Recycle
Brita will recycle their water filters.

Brita wrote in:

"...Recycling bins are now situated in a range of high street stores such as Robert Dyas, Argos and Cargo. Other major retailer collection points will be following soon.

The BRITA branded bins will be located next to the existing water filter category in store. Customers can recycle any BRITA consumer product filter cartridge, including those for the new BRITA water filter taps.

For further information regarding this scheme please contact the BRITACare department on 0844 742 4800".


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Use scrunched plastic bags to pad Christmas decorations in storage
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Frosts will soon be upon us, pop an old bucket over a non-hardy plant as an instant protection
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Launch fireworks from an old bucket filled with sand
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Old fishing net to keep rabbits out of the veg patch
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Drill holes in old buckets - plant them and use as plant tubs
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Unravel a short length of nylon rope and use it as string .
Don Great for tying plastic bags to recycle...
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Cut down old plastic wellies to make slip on galoshes for nipping outside
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Cut down a large squash bottle that has a handle on it - nail to your bench as a an electric drill holder
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Plastic tub lids make great frisbees
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Saw the bottom off an old plastic drum - paint it and you have a large plant drip-tray
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CD cases make good picture frames
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Use polytunnel tape to repair plastic bags
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Save the salad tray from an old fridge to reuse as a plant propagator
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Lino and old carpets to suppress weeds under gravel areas
E. Walters
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Tie old CDs on string in the garden to discourage birds from crops
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Louise M.
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If you have a rolled newspaper delivered, a length of plastic drainpipe is good rainproof holder.
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A Hebridean specialty is mailboxes made from recycled plastic boxes
ANON Send us a diagram!
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My neighbor has a small mink - proof chicken house made from a blue silage drum (even has a hinged door!)
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I recently saw a trailer which had mudguards made out of old fishboxes!
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Carry one or two carrier bags when you walk the beach etc. Feel good when you clear a bit of rubbish.
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People selling their fruit and veg can often reuse clean supermarket plastic veg trays.
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A plastic water bottle makes a great dog toy. Remove the lid.
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The wool mills give a small refund on the yarn bobbins
B.L. Unfortunately incorrect
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Plastic tubs are useful for organizing drawers or workshop shelving etc
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Plastic baths to soak your willow for baskets
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Sell useful plastic items in the Western Isles Auction or put them in at 1p if you want to just offer them!
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Coal sacks reused for collecting seaweed...
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Western Isles compost heaps tend to be too wet to work fast -water them then cover them with old polythene
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Tie together short pieces of rope collected on the shore to use in the garden for beans etc
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Large pieces of heavyweight plastic - or two plastic sacks cut open suppress weeds under trees too - peg with U shaped piece of fence wire
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Large pieces of heavyweight plastic - or plastic sacks cut open suppress weeds under gravel paths
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The old polytunnel plastic makes a great peat stack cover - tie a small piece of peat into the corners and at intervals along the edges with the guy ropes
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Western Isles Action Aid in Stornoway are collecting printer cartridges for recycling
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Strips off that same hose with rope threaded through make a tree support
Ela Image of a star for plastic resuse idea
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Recycle a leaky garden hose to make good soft bucket handles
Ela      Note: There are connectors to repair garden hoses
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Buy in bulk and refill a small container - economical too!
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Did anyone mention to reuse old plastic bags to line bins instead of buying new ones?
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Kids love playing with plastic containers in the bath - make doors for figures in some.
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If you use grow bags, then the tops off bottles, or broken plastic flower pots pushed in beside the plant aids watering
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Children's piggy bank rainy day project. Cut a small hole in a bottle and paint it.
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Fill a small plastic bottle half with water and half with vegetable oil. Add some food coloring and glitter, put the lid on very tightly to make a toddler toy
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Old toothbrushes are really useful reused in the toolbox
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Freeze a plastic bottle of water an use as a picnic cool pack
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Saw the top off plastic drums to make storage containers for the recycling
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Make a rainy day children's game of skittles and reuse plastic bottles
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Plastic mesh bags scrunched up make a scourer
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Putting a plastic bag around a seed tray can aid germination of seedlings.
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Did anyone mention storage :)
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Reuse plastic carrier bags when you go shopping...
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Plastic carrier Bags are welcomed at the second hand shops in Stornoway and the Library can reuse some.
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Some plastic pots can be reused as plant pots.
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Reuse plastic tubs for packed lunches.
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A plastic shower curtain is great on the floor when little ones (or big ones!) are painting.
ANONImage of a star for a great plastic resuse idea
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Cut the top off a bottle as a plant propagator
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Fill plastic carrier bags with scrunched up newspaper to fill empty freezer space - saves energy too!
ElaImage of a star award for a  plastic resuse idea
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Travel light - use a film canister sewing kit or just decant some of a a large pot of suntan cream into it
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I have heard you can make a "rag rug" with plastic carrier bags!
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Scrunch up plastic carrier bags as lightweight packing material when posting things.
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Stuff plastic carrier bags into gaps in the shed etc to stop drafts.
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If you are painting and stop for a while putting the brush in a plastic bags stops it from drying out.
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The Scottish law says you have to clean up after your dog in a public place - plastic bags useful there.
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Emergency make do if you have leaky wellies, or have to put on wet shoes.
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If you wear a wet suit a good trick is to put carrier bags on under your boots - it makes it MUCH easier to get them off again!
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I saw an idea for making a bird feeder out of a plastic pop bottle. Make about 20 small holes near the bottom, then two holes one either side and push a stick through as a perch. Use a funnel to fill it.
Mairi               very inventive! Image of a star for a great reuse idea
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Drying plastic bags which you have washed to reuse is easy, if you hang them in the airing cupboard pegged on a sock rack.
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Reduce the need for plastic carrier bags by having good cloth shopping bags and baskets...
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Take items to the second hand shops or give them to the Sale of Work
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Cut margarine tubs and their lids into strips - they make great plant labels in the greenhouse.
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Plastic bath for a fish pond?
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Cut the top off a large drinks bottle to make a funnel

Thank you to all the contributors who have helped to make this resource.

If you cannot reuse it


Waste Aware Western Isles:

All Plastic food and drink containers such as margarine tubs, yogurt pots, shampoo, washing liquid bottles and Plastic bags (tied together) can be recycled


Western Isles Recycling Points


Recycling Plastic




Large plastic items
with the recycle logo
take to the Recycling
Centre at Bennadrove
(report to weighbridge)


Businesses need register as carriers of waste
and have a
Waste Transfer Note
pads available from
Stornoway stationers







Brittle plastic usually cannot be recycled - look for the recycle logo









Western Isles Recycle!



Tetra-Pak Cartons
and crisp packets
cannot be recycled






In the UK we use an
average of 134 carrier bags
each a year!




All the plastic in the
Western Isles was
brought in
it is still pouring in!









Western Isles Recycle!



Recycling collection dates

Stornoway Kerbside Collection Scheme





Western Isles Recycle!



Hall of Fame

If your business
offers items to in the reuse and recycle
section at our
Western Isles Auction

We add a free
link here to salute
you actively
promoting reuse and recycle
in the Western Isles
Macaskills Home Furnishings



Need a
Waste Transfer Note?
There is an option to
request one if you offer
goods for reuse or
recycle in our
Western Isles Auction




Western Isles Recycle!





When we get to
100 Hints
Lets make a booklet!




Western Isles Recycle!



Add your creative ideas to this long list of ways to reuse plastic





Is the rumor true
that soon rubbish
will be ferried
to Lewis from the Uists
as the landfill sites
are filled and closed?

How long?




Western Isles Recycle!







Crofting skills
in the
Outer Hebrides

not wasteful

Leading the way...





Western Isles Recycles!






Useful web sites:

Snaffle Up - The recycling web site designed to keep useful items out of landfill

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