Save the Ocean: 8 Creative Ways to Upcycle our Plastic Tubs

The overproduction and utilisation of plastic packaging from industrial processes are currently in the spotlight like never before. With the screening of Blue Planet II in late 2017 and its enormous viewership, the BBC and Sir David Attenborough have bought a previously unrealised issue into the forefront of a global consumer psyche.

The scale of the problem

The scale of oceanic plastic pollution is both staggering and frightening in equal measure. There are thought to be in excess of 5 trillion pieces of plastic in our oceans, equating to a staggering 46,000 pieces per square mile and those already colossal numbers are being increased with the dumping of over 6 million tonnes of plastic per year. All of that plastic is causing a big problem for wildlife and the global ecosystem. It is thought that two thirds of all fish on this planet are being affected in some way by plastic derived toxins, meaning that the plastic is ultimately entering our own bodies.

Norton Thin Wheel Tubs

All that being said, it should noted that plastic itself is not the problem here. What we as humans and consumers choose to do with the plastic packaging after its initial purpose is the crux of the issue and its potential solution.

  • Recycle: We believe that our plastic tubs provide all of the benefits of a hard wearing, protective, waterproof container, whilst remaining a sustainable alternative to other forms of packaging. For example, the plastic used in our Norton thin wheel tubs is guaranteed to be 100% recycled, meaning that only existing plastic was used in their manufacture. Furthermore, the tubs are also fully recyclable, so when you are finished storing your thin wheels, please remember to recycle them!
  • Upcycle: If you’re still not quite sold on recycling, then there’s another way to keep the plastic out of the ocean - by repurposing the plastic tub. Upcycling your plastic containers can be as complex or straight forward as you choose but the premise is simple; find another use for them. Luckily, if you are stuck for ideas, here are 8 suggestions to get you started.

 

1. Bits and Bobs Tub

Upcycling a plastic tub into man tin

The Mini Norton Quantum 3 cutting wheel tub would make a great place for all of the nuts, bolts, spare batteries and random keys (that don’t open anything anymore) to live. Better yet, have one pot for each random item, label them up and stick them on a shelf in your workshop/garage/shed for easy reference. Alternatively, empty a drawer out, put your lidless tubs in and you have an organised partitioning system - the compact size of 25-piece thin wheel tub should make it shallow enough to fit in most drawers comfortably.

Also, any larger Norton tubs can comfortably accommodate bigger bits and bob such as spanners, screwdrivers and paintbrushes that have a tendency to ‘wander off.’

2. Dog Bowl

Upcycled plastic tub into dog bowl

Be a friend to our furry companions by repurposing those plastic tubs into all manner of animal feeders. Don’t splash out on a new dog bowl, just load the food or water into one of our tubs (we used a Norton Omega cutting wheel tub above) and you will have one happy pup.

3. Lego Brick Box

A plastic tub being used as a lego container

Never lose a block again, make your old Norton Xtreme thin wheel tub your new Lego brick box. Anyone that has ever stood on a Lego brick without wearing any shoes will understand the need for a tidy place to store them.

4. Compost Bin

Plastic tub upcycled to be a compost bin

Go uber-green by reusing your plastic tubs and your kitchen waste at the same time. Like discarded plastic itself, food wastage is also becoming a key environmental issue. It is therefore unsurprising that many consider composting be one of the most environmentally friendly activities you can undertake – so as well as keeping your plastic out of the oceans and landfill, you can be making positive use out of those discarded Sunday Lunch (or Christmas Dinner – depending on the season) potato peelings and carrot tops.

The bigger the tub, the more compost you can make. That’s why we used the large Norton Vulcan tub for our own composting bin (pictured).

5. Saving for a Rainy Day

Whether it’s the summer holiday fund or if you are just saving for a rainy day, cut a small slot in the lid and this simple upcycle delivers a handy place to put your spare change (or something larger). Keep it on your desk or in the van, the thin wheel tub keeps your money safe by hiding in plain sight; benefitting from the relative inconspicuousness of not looking like a place where money would usually be stowed.

6. Chalk and Crayon Pot

Do you often find random crayons and bits of chalk (parents will understand) lying around the house? If you’ve lost the box, why not make your empty thin wheel tub your new crayon tub? Or, if you have your crayons under control but the sticky tape is always going missing, you could make this tub its new permanent home; it is a perfect fit (being round and all). We found the mini Norton Extreme thin wheel tub to be a solid choice here.

7. A Home for Your Plants

Bed your kitchen herb garden into one of our thin wheel tubs. The plastic container will keep the moisture in and prominent place on the window sill will provide all of the natural light the plant needs. Just remember to poke holes in the bottom of the tub for drainage.

8. Entertain the Kids

If you are stuck for something to keep the kids entertained with over a rainy weekend, why not get the glue, glitter and scissors out and have an arts and crafts afternoon. We have nothing specific to suggest here but thought that these homemade drums and luminaries looked like great potential activities to while away a few hours. Any tubs not being used could also be used as a water pot for paint brushes.

Recycle or Upcycle our Plastic Tubs

Whenever you use one of plastic thin wheel pots, please remember to recycle or upcycle it when you have finished using it. For more information about range of thin wheels, or if you have any upcycling ideas of your own please do get in touch with us.

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