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How to recycle plastic straws

Updated April 17, 2017

Plastic straws are generally made from polypropylene or polythene, which is a recyclable material. Unfortunately, straws often miss the recycling bin and land in dump fills. According to The Soft Landing, fast food chains give out more than 50 million meals per year contribute greatly to a landfill full of straws. The good news is that these straws can be reused towards art and craft projects, or at least cleaned for reuse or put in the recycle bin.

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  1. Trace 12 flower petals out of poster board paper. Cut them out with scissors. Paint or colour them in with marker, and add glitter if your like to the petals.

  2. Punch a small hole in the middle of the petals with a sharp pencil. Cut a piece of coloured yarn about 24 inches long.

  3. Take out 10 coloured plastic straws and snip about 2 inches off each side of every straw. Lay out all the straw pieces behind each other in a horizontal fashion and insert the yarn string inside all of the straw pieces.

  4. Insert the plastic straw pieces into the petal's holes, stringing them together in an alternating pattern. For instance, insert one end of the red straw inside the petal hole, and insert its other end to a yellow straw end. Apply clear adhesive tape around the straws to secure them. Then, insert one end of the yellow straw inside a petal, and connect its other end to a blue straw, securing them together with tape. Make sure that the yarn string stays inside all straw pieces during the stringing process.

  5. Once the petals are all connected by straw, tie the string left over in the final two end straw pieces in a knot. Once it is knotted, you can wear your colourful Hawaiian lei.

  6. Gather up at least 50 to 100 plastic straws. Medium to large structures require lots of plastic flexible straw pieces.

  7. Be creative in how you want your structure to look. It's also OK to freehand your design to see what may come out of your structure. To connect, squeeze the end of the straw and sliding it through the end of another.

  8. Flex the straws at its bendable section to shape and mould the straws into loops, twists and turns.

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Things You'll Need

  • Bendable plastic straw bunch
  • Scissors
  • Pencil
  • Poster board paper
  • Paint, markers and glitter
  • 24-inch yarn

About the Author

Cameron Holmes

Cameron Holmes is a freelance writer, actress and model. Since 2009 Holmes has published numerous articles in topics ranging from entertainment to travel on various websites. Holmes earned an English degree from the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign and specializes in health, wellness and fitness topics.

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