Upcycling Recycling: Global Recycling Day 2020


Over the past few years, recycling and reducing waste have become a huge part of our daily lives. Global Recycling Day was on March 18th, 2020, however, here at TPAS Cymru, we believe that recycling should not be done just one day of the year.

Here at TPAS Cymru, we have put some of our favourite ways to ‘upcycle how we recycle’, making recycling more fun and interesting, for all ages.

From switching off electrics to re-purposing old flooring, there is always a way to save our struggling world. Firstly, our Engagement & Policy Officer, Elizabeth, has written about a local company that TPAS Cymru have recently worked with…


1. Greenstream Flooring CIC

“On Global Recycling Day, we would like to do a shout out to Greenstream Flooring CIC. Greenstream were developed to stop carpet tiles being wasted and sent to landfill. They recognised that there was life left in the tiles and that they can be reused to save carbon. It also enables them to provide low cost flooring to organisations and individuals who could not afford carpet. They provide circular office solutions to minimise waste, create insulation and comfort and enables tenants to feel more ‘at home’.”

Elizabeth, in collaboration with Tai Pawb, have recently written a report on the provision of flooring in social housing. Head over to our Facebook page to find out more about Elizabeth’s projectproviding tenant, Jason, with some lovely new carpeting, donated by Greenstream Flooring.











Next, our Digital Communications Officer, Ruby, has a very non-digital way to spend your self-isolation period whilst also giving you a creative outlet and productively reducing your plastic waste!


2. Plastic Bottle Plant Pots

A brilliant way to ‘upcycle how you recycle’ is getting creative. A good example of this is using old plastic bottles to grow kitchen essentials, such as herbs and spices. This is a lovely family activity, that can make recycling more engaging – especially for young children. 

How to: Plastic bottle plants

Cut plastic bottle in half
Use the bottom half as the flower ‘pot’

Fill plastic bottle with 2 inches of soil
This gives the plant a good base to sit on

Sit plant & roots on top
Sit the plant on top of the soil, holding it sturdy

Cover roots with more soil
Whilst holding the plant, pour soil over the roots until the roots are fully covered

Pack down the soil
This is to ensure no air bubbles, which can kill the plant


But, this isn’t the only plastic bottle plant design you can do. Check out some examples below of how you can take my simple guide and elevate it to create some funky, bright and inventive plant pots. 

Tah dah! There is your homemade plant pot. Painting and decorating the plastic can be a great children’s activity. Lastly, you can even use them to grow your own food sources, reducing your carbon footprint even more.  


And finally, our Membership & PRS Officer, Lewis, has written about a very exciting recycling method that we’d never heard of before!


3. Ecobricks

My interesting project for Global Recycling Day conveniently combines two things I’m very passionate about: recycling and green construction. A few years ago, I heard of a new method to create construction material out of waste plastic – Ecobricks.

Ecobricks are created by packing plastic drinks bottles with waste plastic from crisp packets, sweet wrappers etc. Once the packed plastic reaches a certain density, the bottle – now an ecobrick – can be used to create furniture or structures. Canny creators have used ecobrick to build tables, chairs, planters and even buildings.

By creating ecobricks, we can remove plastic from the biosphere, and turn it into a reusable building resource. It needs minimum equipment – only the waste plastic and a handy stick to pack it into bottles! Whilst this will not ultimately solve the global waste plastic issue, it is an innovative way of removing it from our local environment.

Here in Wales, we have plenty of waste plastic which could go towards creating community resources, rather than being thrown away! Why not create a bench or a planter for your garden in time for summer?


Here at TPAS Cymru, we understand that the majority of people will be stuck in with their children for the next few weeks, so here are a few fun ways you can keep them entertained AND educate them on the dangers of unnecessary waste.


Do you want more articles like this? Do YOU have any ideas for us to discuss? Let us know!


Stay safe and recycle!



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