Your plastic water bottles deserve more.
Do you know how much plastic waste the U.S. generates each year?
33 million tons, according to the EPA, from a 2013 analysis.
If that's not sobering enough, over 90% of these plastics meet their final resting place in landfills, meaning they'll never be recycled.
However, I'm not here to depress you with statistics.
I'd like to introduce you to the born-again plastic bottles that are recycled.
The ones that are hiding in plain sight, as opposed to the ones that are out-of-sight, out-of mind at your local garbage dump.
The ones that found a higher calling thanks to your decision to throw them away in the blue or green bins, as opposed to the black ones.
The recycled plastic bottles that are just begging you to rediscover them in their newfound glory.
NOTE TO READER (especially you lovely folks on your mobile devices): It might take a few seconds for these images to load. I promise it will be worth the wait!
1. Cozy Patagonia fleece
Check out all their recycled plastic products here.
2. Winter jackets, too!
3. Check it out: Luxury bedsheets designed by will.i.am
4. Plastic bottle denim jeans by a company called Dirtball? Sign me up.
A+ business name, guys.
5. You can also root for your favorite NFL team in these plastic bottle football jerseys.
6. Do yoga (or just be comfy) in these plastic bottle yoga pants.
Namaste, plastic bottles. Namaste.
7. You could also look fly in these New Balance NewSky sneakers.
8. Plastic bottle UNDERWEAR, y'all
9. Designer handbags, backpacks, and luggage by Matt & Nat
Even the inside liner is made from plastic bottles!
10. Red (or green?) carpet fashion
But like, what plastic bottle wouldn't want to end up with Colin Firth and his wife, Livia?
11. Plastic bottles can also strut their stuff on the runway.
Work it, plastic bottles. Work. It. Out.
12. Pet beds!
13. And pet toys, too!
14. And you've probably walked on a plastic bottle rug.
And, hey! These are affordable.
15. Plastic bottles can also get a second chance with these "B2P" pens by Pilot.
Next time you're ready to restock, consider these bad boys.
16. Rainy day? Try a plastic bottle umbrella.
17. You probably want to buy this awesome bat backpack.
For kids or adults? I'll let you decide. They also come in pink bunnies, purple owls, penguins with ties, and more.
18. Or this pink dump truck.
*adds to Christmas list*
19. Be fancy with a fancy plastic bottle chandelier!
20. Stare in awe at some ridiculously creative plastic bottle artwork.
21. And don't forget to check out this artwork ... made with plastic bottle "paint."
22. You can even make an entire HOUSE from plastic bottles.
23. A bus stop?! Yeah, a bus stop.
24. These people are riding solar-powered recycled-plastic-bottle BOATS.
25. Even the roads of the future are paved in plastic bottles!
26. No big deal, just a man-made plastic bottle island here.
27. Or, you know, 1.5 million bottles could get you AN ENTIRE FREAKING BUILDING.
Learn more about the EcoARK in Taipei, Taiwan, here.
See? It's an absolute crime to send plastic water bottles to the dump when there's so much potential awaiting them elsewhere. Not to mention each ton of recycled plastic saves over 16 barrels of oil since it requires less energy to produce than new plastic.
And remember: Recycling is only one part of the "reduce, reuse, recycle" mantra. Reducing (or even eliminating) your consumption of plastics, in addition to coming up with your own fancy DIY uses for milk jugs and water bottles is even better for the environment, if you're willing to make the lifestyle change.
Recycle on, friends!