Greener BeeGreen GadgetsTaranaki man creates device to slice plastic bottles for green house project

Steve Bates from Egmont Village has created a tool that cuts plastic bottles to make string, which he will use on a ...

Steve Bates from Egmont Village has created a tool that cuts plastic bottles to make string, which he will use on a green house.

Like the American action-adventure character Angus MacGyver, who solves complex problems by creating gadgets out of ordinary objects, Steve Bates has found a purpose in plastic.

Bates’ unnamed gadget slices plastic bottles into about 4 millimetre-width “string”, which he plans to use in a project that will see 2000 one-litre bottles turned into a green house.

“It’s giving a second life to all these bottles,” he said. “I’d like the project to be 98 per cent to 99 per cent recycled material.”

The tool cuts the bottles into plastic string with a 4 millimetre width.

The tool cuts the bottles into plastic string with a 4 millimetre width.

The gadget is made from a block of wood with smaller blocks nailed in specific ways so that when a plastic bottle is placed on top, Bates can turn a crank, spinning the bottom of the bottle across a utility knife.

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The crank then winds the “string” of plastic through a groove and onto a collecting piece, which is made up of a rod and a bottle top.

Bates reckons he can get about 5.8 metres out of a 600ml bottle.

Bates reckons he can get about 5.8 metres out of a 600ml bottle.

“I got 5.8 metres of string out of a 600ml bottle,” Bates said.

The little tool was inspired from several YouTube videos.

“It’s two or three designs in one,” Bates added.

Bates plans to put 2000 bottles on a structure to create a green house. The string will tie the bottles together.

Bates plans to put 2000 bottles on a structure to create a green house. The string will tie the bottles together.

Once about 100m of string was collected, he could tie plastic bottles together to make up the walls of a green house, which currently sits as an old glass house frame.

“I’ll run bamboo through the centre of the bottles so it’s sturdy,” he explained of his finish project idea.

“The air lock will collect heat and allow for warmer temperatures inside the green house.”

And a water collection tank, complete with a plastic bottle gutter, would store about 70 litres of rain water that would drip feed plants.

“I also want to build a table. I have all these ideas and I haven’t even started the first one.”

It was four months ago when the recycled green space idea grew.

Bates was across the ditch, living in Perth, when a bland brick wall at his home got on his nerve.

“I wanted to make use of the space,” he said.

“That’s when I found YouTube videos of people making vertical gardens out of plastic bottles.”

Now back in New Zealand, the Egmont Village man wants to create an even bigger green space from wasted materials.

Bates has put the call out to the community to help collect the bottles, with a drop-off location already set up at the Access Radio station in Spotswood and a potential second location at the Marfell Community Garden.

Once the plastic bottle green house is complete, Bates would like to recreate the project elsewhere in the region.

“I’ve just got to get the first one built.”


 – Stuff

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