How to Build a Greenhouse Made From Plastic Bottles

Here is a step-by-step guide on how to build a plastic bottle greenhouse, for those of you with the time and patience to collect enough empty plastic bottles to construct one.

Making this type of greenhouse is cheap, but it is also quite an undertaking in terms of labour and the time it will take. Perhaps it is best left to community organisations and schools, you might think.

Don't let that put you off. There is no reason why everyone should not have such a wonderful PET plastic construction in their yard.

a greenhouse made from plastic bottles
a greenhouse made from plastic bottles | Source

PET stands for Polyethylene terephthalate which is the type of plastic approved worldwide for plastic bottles intended for the drinks industry.

Advantages of a Plastic Bottle Greenhouse

  • It's cheap to construct. You will need approximately 1400 empty 2 litre (40oz) plastic bottles to build a greenhouse that is 8' x 6'. Even if you don't use that many, you can collect them from neighbours, friends, hotels, bars, and restaurants in your area.
  • It is self-watering. Because there are gaps at the tops of the bottles, heavy rain can certainly penetrate from where the bottles lie side-by-side. This is a huge time saver for greenhouse growers. Also, rainwater is always better for your plants than tap water.
  • It raises the temperature. The temperature is raised about 10 degrees centigrade compared to the weather outside. That is a huge difference and it should certainly lengthen the growing season for many plants, no matter what climate you live in.
  • It saves landfill sites from yet more plastic waste. It goes without saying that if everyone saved those plastic PET bottles for constructions like greenhouses, there would be less to clutter up landfill sites.
  • It is cheap and easy to repair. You can simply replace the plastic bottle that has broken or been damaged by missiles or animals. All your bottles are hooked onto either wire or a cane or sticks. So all you need to do is unhook the line, slide out the bottles including the broken one(s), and replace it with a fresh one.
  • It is sturdy and can withstand strong winds. Plastic bottles can't get blown away when they are pinned into place. The strength of your structure will depend entirely on how well the lines of bottles are anchored.

How to Build a Plastic Bottle Greenhouse

  1. The bottles are washed to remove labels, then the bottoms are cut off. You will need to remove the bottle lids too.
  2. Thread your bottles through whatever medium you choose to use to hold them in a line. This can be bamboo canes, or lengths of stick — though they need to be slim enough to feed through the bottle opening — or wire.
  3. Once you have your basic frame, you then connect your canes or sticks with the interlocked plastic bottles already fitted, to the frame.
  • All the greenhouses I have seen built with plastic PET bottles have used a wooden frame, which is surprisingly not terribly 'green' as trees have to be cut down to provide the frame. It also requires constructing, and that would mean calling in a joiner or woodworker in my case anyway. I am still thinking of alternatives to wood.

The plastic bottles have their bottoms cut off
The plastic bottles have their bottoms cut off | Source
the plastic bottles are placed over the bamboo cane
the plastic bottles are placed over the bamboo cane | Source
The canes are pegged into place on the wooden greenhouse structure
The canes are pegged into place on the wooden greenhouse structure | Source
the roof is put on the plastic bottle greenhouse
the roof is put on the plastic bottle greenhouse | Source

An Alternative

Another way to build your greenhouse would be to interlock all the plastic bottles together, one on top of the other, as above, with the bottoms cut out to make a tighter fit, but without a central support. Instead, horizontal wires can be attached both inside and outside the greenhouse to hold the bottles in position, as shown in the photo below.

You will note that, in this project, the lids were left on the bottles, and I must admit I quite like that idea as it is one less place for insects to enter and make themselves at home.

Can you imagine how horrible going into your new plastic bottle greenhouse would be if you were confronted every time by nests of insects in the walls? Apart from the aesthetic appearance, a good deal of light would be cut out.

This photo shows the plastic bottle greenhouse built by 68-year old Linda Woollard as part of a university project.
This photo shows the plastic bottle greenhouse built by 68-year old Linda Woollard as part of a university project.

As Insulation

Plastic bottles greenhouses can also be insulated to keep out cold draughts, and to cut down on self-watering when it rains.

Bubble wrap, which you can buy in rolls from any local DIY store, does the job really well.

insulating a plastic bottle greenhouse with bubble-wrap
insulating a plastic bottle greenhouse with bubble-wrap | Source

As you can see from the above photos, making greenhouses from plastic bottles seems to be popular as a community effort. But I would like to build one for myself, primarily because of its cheap construction.

In Europe, building plastic bottle greenhouses has become a popular past time for many. I have been unable to locate information as to whether the plastic bottles stand up well under a hot sun, which is normal where I live (in southern Spain).

Plastic bottle houses stand up very well in sunny conditions in hot countries, but the plastic is not really exposed to a lot of sun, being filled first with sand and then covered by mortar. Filling with sand is NOT an option for a greenhouse as it then becomes a garden shed or something!

If any architect reads here, I would welcome your opinion, before I go to the effort of collecting thousands of empty plastic bottles.

How to Build a Greenhouse using Plastic Bottles

A plastic bottle greenhouse

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Comments 212 comments

Wesman Todd Shaw profile image

Wesman Todd Shaw 4 years ago from Kaufman, Texas

SWEET!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I love this!

AllSuretyBonds profile image

AllSuretyBonds 4 years ago

Very interesting and creative. Perfect for going a little more "Green".

IzzyM profile image

IzzyM 4 years ago from UK Author

I really want one of those now! I think they are a superb idea, and I don't know why I didn't think of it before now!

TransferAmerica profile image

TransferAmerica 4 years ago from Torrance, CA

Wow that's really creative! I would never have imagined a green house made of plastic bottles! Good hub.

IzzyM profile image

IzzyM 4 years ago from UK Author

Thanks, it wasn't my idea but I wish it was!

moonlake profile image

moonlake 4 years ago from America

How neat is this? I have never seen one. Great hub.

brittanytodd profile image

brittanytodd 4 years ago from Kailua-Kona, Hawaii

How fun! This looks amazing! Thank you for sharing. Voted up, etc.

IzzyM profile image

IzzyM 4 years ago from UK Author

You're welcome and thanks for commenting. It is great idea for using up plastic bottles!

wavegirl22 profile image

wavegirl22 4 years ago from New York, NY

Izzy - as is known you have a green thumb but this plastic greenhouse has taken your gardening skills to new heights. Brilliant and smart. I am officially saving my bottles and someday hopefully I can send you some pictures to add to this wonder of a hub! Thumbs up in every direction!

IzzyM profile image

IzzyM 4 years ago from UK Author

Great idea, send the photos to add in here! Plastic bottle greenhouses are definitely the way forward.

LeanMan profile image

LeanMan 4 years ago from At the Gemba

I remember when I was in Africa several years ago one of the local breweries was experimenting with square bottles so as to enable the locals to use the empty bottles filled with dirt to be used as bricks to build with!

But I love this idea for a greenhouse built of plastic bottles.

IzzyM profile image

IzzyM 4 years ago from UK Author

The Africans have perfected the technique of building using normal round plastic bottles -

These homes look great. But I think the greenhouses will be more practical for the rest of us.

sweetie1 profile image

sweetie1 4 years ago from India

Oh wow, 1400 bottles and i always thought plastic was not ecofriendly. Though it looks lots of work but in end it must have given you a lot of pleasure to make it so beautiful and useful.

IzzyM profile image

IzzyM 4 years ago from UK Author

Yes it's a lot of work but well worth it, and a great way to use those plastic bottles up.

Johnny Parker profile image

Johnny Parker 4 years ago from Birkenhead, Wirral, North West England

Fantastic, I'm going to make one of these on my allotment!

IzzyM profile image

IzzyM 4 years ago from UK Author

They are a great idea for allotments, because if they get vandalised, it is cheap and easy to replace the plastic.

scsunshine profile image

scsunshine 4 years ago from sc

This is so cool! Such a unique idea.

IzzyM profile image

IzzyM 4 years ago from UK Author

It's a great idea, isn't it? And not mine despite what some of the commenters seem to think - I just wish it was!

jdatwell 4 years ago

i loved it might tell my mother-in-law she might get a kick out it. loved it!!!

the best thing in this economy i can't thing of anything better a perfect family and community project.

loved it!!!

IzzyM profile image

IzzyM 4 years ago from UK Author

My feelings too :)

itsmonkeyboy profile image

itsmonkeyboy 4 years ago from London, UK

I've never heard of this before but what an absolutely brilliant idea! We don't use many plastic bottles and when we do they always seem to be different sizes and shapes. I can see I'm going to have to buy some more and standardize!

Thanks for sharing such a wonderful recycling plan. Great hub.

IzzyM profile image

IzzyM 4 years ago from UK Author

Good to see so many folk like yourself liking this idea. I do too, I think it's wonderful! Happy collecting!

xethonxq profile image

xethonxq 4 years ago

This is an AWESOME hub...I have always wanted to put up a greenhouse and was thinking of doing so with old windows, but this idea is really cool. Thanks for sharing it!!! :)

IzzyM profile image

IzzyM 4 years ago from UK Author

Thank you :) I am now collecting plastic bottles myself. I have 3 so far.

Warren Baldwin profile image

Warren Baldwin 4 years ago from Kansas

Great idea. but what is a PET bottle?

TroyM profile image

TroyM 4 years ago

Wow! Amazing idea to build a Greenhouse... Thanks for sharing your ideas!

IzzyM profile image

IzzyM 4 years ago from UK Author

@ Warren, oops I missed putting that in this hub (I have another hub on how to build a house using PET bottles, and put it there). PET stands for Polyethylene terephthalate which is the type of plastic approved worldwide for human drinks like Coca-cola.

@Troy, thanks for taking the time to comment and yes great idea and great way to use up those PET bottles.

irenemaria profile image

irenemaria 4 years ago from Sweden

A really funny idea!

Nolimits Nana profile image

Nolimits Nana 4 years ago from British Columbia

What a great idea!

Louis Taylor profile image

Louis Taylor 4 years ago from UK

wow, this is amazing, wonder what the folks would say if i built one at the allotment

IzzyM profile image

IzzyM 4 years ago from UK Author

They'd love it! I'd get collecting too, if I were you!

A.CreativeThinker 4 years ago

This is a great way to use the plastic bottles. Thanks for sharing. Take care :)

IzzyM profile image

IzzyM 4 years ago from UK Author

Thank you for reading and taking the time to comment :)

beachelf profile image

beachelf 4 years ago from Virginia

I LOVE this. I want one, one day. (Nowhere to put it now..) Could be a great Eagle scout project for a school or community center, though...

Also, was thinking about the wood frame problem. What if it were constructed in more of an upside down U shape, like a those arched steel buildings people use for warehouses? You might still need something for framing the ends, but this could be recycled material as well. And I don't see why, if you built it with the wood framing, you couldn't get recycled studs from a demo site, if you wanted to. :) Just some thoughts. Love the idea! Thanks so much for sharing!!

IzzyM profile image

IzzyM 4 years ago from UK Author

Like the polytunnels you mean? I don't see why not, plastic bottles can be flexible and fit on any shape of frame. Great ideas!

techygran profile image

techygran 4 years ago from Vancouver Island, Canada

this is a very cool hub... I want one of these plastic bottle greenhouses! thanks for contributing this knowledge.

IzzyM profile image

IzzyM 4 years ago from UK Author

Me too, and thanks!

perassanna 4 years ago

thank you, good hub voted up

BWD316 profile image

BWD316 4 years ago from Connecticut

What an awesome idea! so cool! voted up, aesome, interesting, useful, and shared!

Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 4 years ago from Houston, Texas

Anything that can keep these plastics out of landfills gets my votes. This is a great innovative idea to use them in helping to construct greenhouses. Voted useful and interesting.

Fennelseed profile image

Fennelseed 4 years ago from Australia

This is an awesome idea. I am inspired to try it out so will start saving bottles and will ask my friends and work colleagues to save also. Thank you for this great hub, I have voted up and shared!!!

IzzyM profile image

IzzyM 4 years ago from UK Author

Thanks folks for the comments. I have collected 4 sackfuls of plastic bottles towards my own project so far. I, too, think it is a fantastic idea (not my own obviously) and glad you agree!

iamaudraleigh 4 years ago

That is such a great idea and hub! Voted up!

IzzyM profile image

IzzyM 4 years ago from UK Author

Thanks audra :)

kmaskreations profile image

kmaskreations 4 years ago

Great hub! I would love to try this. Looks like something the whole family can do together with little engineering or carpentry skills. Thanks for sharing. Voted up, useful and interesting.

Moms-Secret profile image

Moms-Secret 4 years ago from Central Florida

This sounds super cool. I would have liked to see a video on how to build the frame since that seems to be the hardest part.

Eiddwen profile image

Eiddwen 4 years ago from Wales

I found this hub by Fennelseed's link and i am so glad that I did .

Amazing and priceless.

I vote up here without a doubt.

Take care and enjoy your day.


IzzyM profile image

IzzyM 4 years ago from UK Author

Yes a video would be great, if there's none out there, I will certainly consider making one. Thanks everyone for commenting, and thanks Fennelseed for linking it (where is it linked?)

mordorr profile image

mordorr 4 years ago from london


IzzyM profile image

IzzyM 4 years ago from UK Author

Thanks for reading :)

alipuckett profile image

alipuckett 4 years ago

This is such a cool idea!

theherbivorehippi profile image

theherbivorehippi 4 years ago from Holly, MI

This is brilliant!!! I want one! This is one of those..."Why didn't I think of that?" things. I don't use any plastic bottles like this, but maybe I'll have to tell my aunts and cousins to start saving theirs for me. This could be a fantastic project!

IzzyM profile image

IzzyM 4 years ago from UK Author

I've just had a screaming fit at him because I was saving my plastic bottles in bin bags in the utility room, which is open aired and hot from the sun, and he has been putting bottles in their without washing them out first! Takes 2 minutes to rinse them, but once that sugar has baked on in the sun, it is almost impossible to get the lids off to clean. Got them all washed and stored away in the basement now. I have plans for a lean-to plastic greenhouse, even if it takes me years to get it!

But yeah this would make a great community project to get involved in.

The Frog Princess profile image

The Frog Princess 4 years ago from Florence area of the Great Pee Dee of South Carolina

Such a neat idea. How creative is this. I love it but I have just one of those plain ole greenhouses. This would be great in the south for veggies.

IzzyM profile image

IzzyM 4 years ago from UK Author

Glass greenhouses are fantastic, but expensive. This is second-best to a real greenhouse, IMO, and only costs a fraction of the price. All you might pay out for is the framework, and maybe bubblewrap for insulation. Almost certainly less than $50 all in.

Daughter Of Maat profile image

Daughter Of Maat 4 years ago from Rural Central Florida

This is a great hub. I had to bookmark it! I was recently looking into green houses but buying them is so expensive! This came at the perfect time! Thank you!

Vote up and SHARED.

IzzyM profile image

IzzyM 4 years ago from UK Author

Collecting all the bottles is probably the hardest bit, or maybe the cutting them up and stringing them into place, but glad to have helped. I'm sure with the help of neighbors and friends you will have one up in no time at all :)

billybuc profile image

billybuc 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

That was absolutely fascinating. I am always looking for things like this but had never heard of this...what a great idea and what a great hub! Thank you!

IzzyM profile image

IzzyM 4 years ago from UK Author

And thank you for taking the time to read and comment :) I am still wondered how those PET bottle will stand up to extensive sunlight and heat like we get here in the south of Spain. Even plastic garden chairs give up the ghost after a few years because they harden and crack in the sun. If you know, or know anyone who knows, let me know before I go to the effort of building a greenhouse made out of plastic bottles. I know most greenhouse plants grow outdoors here, but the winters are still cold and windy - an extra month or so would make all the difference to the growing season.

ameypp7 profile image

ameypp7 4 years ago

Wow!! This is something really amazing. Thanks for the idea. You've provided everything here...:)

IzzyM profile image

IzzyM 4 years ago from UK Author

Such a simple idea too! Its one of those that you think to yourself "Wow! Why didn't I think of that?" Thanks for commenting :)

Thundermama profile image

Thundermama 4 years ago from Canada

This idea totally rocks! My mom just spent a ridiculous amount of money on a tiny green house that took forever to construct. This one makes way more sense. I'm going for it. Thanks so much for this post.

IzzyM profile image

IzzyM 4 years ago from UK Author

You've got a valid point. I once put together an 8' x 6' greenhouse and it was a major construction, that was after paying well over $1000 for it too. At least with the work involved with the plastic bottle greenhouse construction, the costs were minimal beforehand.

scarletqueen 4 years ago

oh this is cool! I have a metal frame greenhouse with poly walls. When the walls degrade (here in the south US, they always do) I can replace it with bottles strung on wire, affixed to the frame. Suh-weet!

Dorsi profile image

Dorsi 4 years ago from The San Francisco Bay Area

FANTASTIC IDEA! I love this - and would love to build one!

Pinned, plussed and tweeted.

IzzyM profile image

IzzyM 4 years ago from UK Author

Hey scarletqueen, that is a perfect solution for you! Even with aluminium frames you'll be able to find a good sturdy way to attach them.

@Dorsi, thanks a million. I have just had a huge rush of views from Pinterest so it must have been down to you. Many thanks!

ThePracticalMommy profile image

ThePracticalMommy 4 years ago from United States

This is an awesome idea! I wouldn't be able to make one on a large scale in my yard, but I could make a smaller one to suit our gardening needs. Voted up, useful and awesome!

IzzyM profile image

IzzyM 4 years ago from UK Author

Thanks! Its a great way to use all those plastic bottles up too, instead of just binning them for a landfill site :)

networmed profile image

networmed 4 years ago from SPL

Very creative idea and it save the plastic bottles from going into the landfills which don't degrade overtime.

Dorsi profile image

Dorsi 4 years ago from The San Francisco Bay Area

Izzy) It was lol!! Hey, can I feature your hub at my new site: This is exactly the type of cool stuff I want to put on the site.

Glad you got a rush of traffic - people are repinning this like crazy!

IzzyM profile image

IzzyM 4 years ago from UK Author

Hey networmed, thanks for reading and commenting.

@Dorsi, yes you are welcome to use this hub. Do you want me to write an intro for it, or are you happy to do that yourself? I've also got a hub on plastic bottle houses which may be of interest?

Dorsi profile image

Dorsi 4 years ago from The San Francisco Bay Area

Hey Izzy an intro by you would be awesome then I will put the links to your hubs. Yes both would be great!!

IzzyM profile image

IzzyM 4 years ago from UK Author

I'll try to get them written up tomorrow then (it's too late tonight and I am tired). I owe you one! I am still getting hits here from Pinterest!

Dorsi profile image

Dorsi 4 years ago from The San Francisco Bay Area

Oh no rush Izzy. Later in the week even is fine. I've got a busy day Monday and Tuesday so mid-week till end of week works great. Glad you are getting lots of hits from Pinterest. Hope it translates into some $$ !

Chris Achilleos profile image

Chris Achilleos 4 years ago

What an awesome idea, I love it. Voted up, interesting, useful and sharing :)

Budman610 profile image

Budman610 4 years ago from Ohio

That is a great idea!

IzzyM profile image

IzzyM 4 years ago from UK Author

Hey thanks everyone for reading and commenting!

Dorsi, I will mail you :)

jenniferg78 profile image

jenniferg78 4 years ago from Philadelphia, PA

Brilliant and creative use of plastic bottles!! Great Hub thanks!

You should check out this creative use too -

IzzyM profile image

IzzyM 4 years ago from UK Author

Ah yes the plastic bottle lights for aluminium roofed homes. Not much help to us in the West but a good idea all the same for those in the sub-continent living in poverty.

dappledesigns profile image

dappledesigns 4 years ago from In Limbo between New England and the Midwest

oh I love this! Great hub and most excellent topic.

IzzyM profile image

IzzyM 4 years ago from UK Author

Cheers :)

DeviousOne profile image

DeviousOne 4 years ago from Sydney, Australia

Hahaha pretty amazing stuff. Great job.

IzzyM profile image

IzzyM 4 years ago from UK Author

It really is a super idea! Thanks for reading :)

taw2012 profile image

taw2012 4 years ago from India

Hats off !!! really creative and cool idea. i feel to own one such.

lasertekservices 4 years ago from Fargo, North Dakota

This is really interesting!

Neil Sperling profile image

Neil Sperling 4 years ago from Port Dover Ontario Canada

Interesting idear! :-) Thanks for sharing

Duchessoflilac1 profile image

Duchessoflilac1 4 years ago from Johns Island, SC

Thanks for sharing. I'd like to try this.

IzzyM profile image

IzzyM 4 years ago from UK Author

Its an interesting idea that should work really well. I asked in my own hub above if PET plastic would withstand the ravages of the sun, and am now told it will, better than any other plastic (thinking of plastic garden chairs that split and break after a couple of years in the sun). PET plastic really is top quality stuff with so many more uses than just filling with soft drinks.

reagu profile image

reagu 4 years ago from Los Angeles

This is great. Nevermind the eco-benefits. This is nerdy-cool. Way to go.

IzzyM profile image

IzzyM 4 years ago from UK Author

Nerdy-cool! Love it! Thanks :)

firefly07 profile image

firefly07 4 years ago from UK

what an amazing hub. The children in one of our local primary schools recently built a greenhouse out of plastic bottles.

IzzyM profile image

IzzyM 4 years ago from UK Author

Thanks firefly, yes it makes for a great community project and kids would no doubt learn a lot by getting involved. Well done them!

Pinkchic18 profile image

Pinkchic18 4 years ago from Minnesota

This is so cool! I can just picture it. Do you weigh it down somehow so that the wind doesn't blow it away? Or is it heavier than it looks. Either way, very neat!

Modern Lady profile image

Modern Lady 4 years ago from Chicago, IL

What a creative idea! I'd hate to try to find that many empty bottle though.

Brandym2012 profile image

Brandym2012 4 years ago from PA

Very interesting idea!

urmilashukla23 profile image

urmilashukla23 4 years ago from Rancho Cucamonga,CA, USA

What an amazing idea!Thanks for sharing it.Useful and voted up!

IzzyM profile image

IzzyM 4 years ago from UK Author

Thanks for the comments. A plastic bottle greenhouse will not need anchored because it is built on a solid frame and each line of bottles is carefully pegged into place, plus there are an awful lot of bottles so it will be quite heavy anyway. I have collected about 6 sackfuls of bottles, each holding about 8 bottles, and while there is hardly any weight in any of them, that is still only 48 bottles. To build the full 8' x 6' greenhouse I need a total of 1400 bottles and that must weight a few lbs!

crazyhorsesghost profile image

crazyhorsesghost 4 years ago from East Coast , United States

Very nice and helpful Hub Page. I plan on doing this and I have been working on it for a while now. I found this Hub Page filled with interesting and helpful information. Thanks. Also voted up across the board. Again thanks for doing this wonderful Hub Page on a subject that really interests me.

IzzyM profile image

IzzyM 4 years ago from UK Author

Hey please send me a photo of your completed project and I will add it here (or if you write a hub I will link it). My plans are on hold as I have just moved countries and so the bottle collecting will stop until I return which may be years away. Meanwhile, there is a community garden very close to where I am now, and they may well be interested in making a plastic bottle greenhouse in addition to their poly tunnels.

crazyhorsesghost profile image

crazyhorsesghost 4 years ago from East Coast , United States

I will send you a photo when completed.

IzzyM profile image

IzzyM 4 years ago from UK Author

That would be great! Thank you very much :)

RTalloni profile image

RTalloni 4 years ago from the short journey

Now that's a green greenhouse! Thanks for this look at make greenhouses from plastic bottles. I'm seeing a version that has three sides attached to an already existing out building.

IzzyM profile image

IzzyM 4 years ago from UK Author

That's super! All you need now are the bottles :)

Ginger Ruffles 4 years ago

Absolutely fantastic hub!

IzzyM profile image

IzzyM 4 years ago from UK Author

Thanks ever so much, and for taking the time to read and comment :)

Kommadant 4 years ago

Awesome idea. I never thought of this. Great hub!

jagerfoods profile image

jagerfoods 4 years ago from South Carolina, USA

How clever! We've started recycling bottle for lamps but a whole green house!? With the step by step instructions we'll have to give this a try. Thanks for the post.

IzzyM profile image

IzzyM 4 years ago from UK Author

Thanks Kommandant and jagerfoods for your comments. Let me know how you get on with building your plastic bottle greenhouse!

SkySlave profile image

SkySlave 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

wow this is awesome i'm defiantly gonna have to try this sometime! What a great creation. I love when people share ideas like this.

IzzyM profile image

IzzyM 4 years ago from UK Author

What really amazes me is how tough PET plastic bottles are. If you have ever had a plastic greenhouse, or even a plastic garden chair, you will know how quickly they degrade in the sun. Yet this PET plastic doesn't bio-degrade - it is a top quality plastic, and if you were to order a greenhouse made from straight sections of PET plastic, the cost would be prohibitive, yet it would last for years longer than any other kind of plastic currently in use. And there we are, throwing those amazing plastic bottles out with the rubbish when we could recycle it ourselves.

JanHeath profile image

JanHeath 4 years ago from Australia

Awesome idea, adds a whole new meaning to using recycled materials for building!

IzzyM profile image

IzzyM 4 years ago from UK Author

LOL it really does!

bockshiner profile image

bockshiner 4 years ago from Dallas, TX

This is a cool idea.

Drea DeFoe profile image

Drea DeFoe 4 years ago

This is an excellent hub. I love it when people get creative and practical with recycling!

blairtracy profile image

blairtracy 4 years ago from Canada

Oh my goodness! I have always wanted a greenhouse! Once I find out where I am going to store all these pop bottles I shall start collecting! Thanks for the idea.

IzzyM profile image

IzzyM 4 years ago from UK Author

That is wonderful if you one day have enough bottles to complete the project. I would love to see photos of the finished result!

Frugal Housewife profile image

Frugal Housewife 4 years ago


KrisL profile image

KrisL 4 years ago from S. Florida

This is great! I had a thought for you or anyone else doing a solo project. You can cut off the bottoms, and maybe even string the bottles on sticks, bamboo, or wire as you go. That will make it faster at the end. Voted up & shared.

truefaith7 profile image

truefaith7 4 years ago from USA

What an amazing, novel idea! If a simple greenhouse can be built out of plastic bottles, just imagine what other kind of buildings can be built. Garden/utility sheds, pool cabanas, campsite buildings, and more! Thanks for sharing this and voted up and across!

Mitch Alan profile image

Mitch Alan 4 years ago from South Jersey

Clever idea...let the soda drinking begin.

whalefeather2 profile image

whalefeather2 4 years ago

What and awesome idea!!!

Eiddwen profile image

Eiddwen 4 years ago from Wales

I remember this one from days gone by;but still as interesting and original.

I am sharing onto FB and my page.

Enjoy your weekend.


Doodlehead profile image

Doodlehead 4 years ago from Northern California

How fun. How about a river raft to go along with it!

DMVmimay 4 years ago

that was awesome! very useful advice.. thanks for sharing .. wew... blessed :)

nylarej profile image

nylarej 4 years ago from Ph

awesome hub and idea! A great way to help our environment clean and green! :)

Pavlo Badovskyy profile image

Pavlo Badovskyy 4 years ago from Kyiv, Ukraine

This can be a perfect school project as well as for your own needs! Great hub!

whynot1 profile image

whynot1 4 years ago

Wow! Great idea! Thanks for posting! I like the idea of using plastic bottles. I recently purchased a rug that was made from recycled plastic bottles - but this idea is even better! Way to go! Love the hub!

Casimiro 4 years ago

Awesome idea and a great write-up on how it all works. I do wonder how long PET bottles can stand up to UV, but I think it's quite a while. In any case, once you've built it once, it shouldn't be difficult to replace the bottles. Thanks for this wonderful hub!

idigwebsites profile image

idigwebsites 4 years ago from United States

great recycling idea, Izzy!!! I got lots of plastic bottles lying around the house. great , great hub!

Armchair Builder profile image

Armchair Builder 3 years ago from Hawaii

This is a very unique idea. I build more traditional buildings and homes for a living...always amazed at some of the non-traditional ideas people come up with. Great job

IzzyM profile image

IzzyM 3 years ago from UK Author

Hey this could be your latest project! Thanks for commenting :)

rean26sap profile image

rean26sap 3 years ago

Another Way to save the environment.. Nice Work!!

Blond Logic profile image

Blond Logic 3 years ago from Brazil

What a great idea. I have never seen anything like it.

We use plastic bottles here in Brazil. On our tilapia farm we use them as floats in the lake. We suspend air diffusers from them. I have also seen them used here in family gardens to keep birds away.

Our UV index is in the 'extreme' category and have had no problem with them cracking.

Voted up and sharing.

IzzyM profile image

IzzyM 3 years ago from UK Author


It's such a shame to throw such a high grade of plastic away, and that is great to know they won't biodegrade in high UV areas. If they withstand the heat in Brazil, they'll be fine in southern Europe (which was what I wanted to know for certain).

Bethany26 profile image

Bethany26 3 years ago from USA

This is a great idea. Thanks for sharing!

ryanjhoe profile image

ryanjhoe 3 years ago from Somewhere over the rainbow

This is interesting! It is amazing that plastic bottle can be useful for many things including making creation like this.

organized living profile image

organized living 3 years ago from Magnolia, AR

Thanks very much! I've long used the tep liyer soda bottle, with the bottom removed, as a cloche to protect young plants. This goes way beyond that. I am definitely considering this as an ption for a summer project.

Spirit Whisperer profile image

Spirit Whisperer 3 years ago from Isle of Man

This is a great idea and I also love the video. I noticed that there were gaps in the green house and wonder how that affects the green house.

IzzyM profile image

IzzyM 3 years ago from UK Author

The gaps make for great natural watering when it rains! If winds are the problem, the greenhouse can be insulated with bubble-wrap. Even so, if the basic structure is well anchored, the plants inside are still sitting happily at several degrees above the outside temperature. This idea will never be better than a proper greenhouse, but it's a cool project, especially for community groups.

Spirit Whisperer profile image

Spirit Whisperer 3 years ago from Isle of Man

Thank you IzzyM for getting back to me and I see now and I completely agree with you, it is indeed a great project.

B. Leekley profile image

B. Leekley 3 years ago from Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA

Up, Useful, Interesting, and shared with followers and on social networking sites. One of these years if my thumbs turn green I'll participate at a community garden, and making a communal greenhouse for it together out of soda pop bottles might be a helpful and welcome idea.

Farris Spoiler profile image

Farris Spoiler 3 years ago

Wow thi's Is the best thing ,I ver seen .Nice useful of bottle's .:)

bhargvi sharma profile image

bhargvi sharma 3 years ago from jammu ( India)

Innovative... Great one... :)

KDeus profile image

KDeus 3 years ago from Florida

I have heard of using plastic bottles to make a greenhouse. Thanks for sharing all the steps! What a wonderful way to reduce waste in our landfills and have the benefit of a longer growing season! Pinned and voted up!

carlajbehr profile image

carlajbehr 3 years ago from NW PA

Great idea in this age of recycling! This is the ultimate "green" project.

JimTxMiller profile image

JimTxMiller 3 years ago from Wichita Falls, Texas

I'd drink to that! Your greenhouse project scores high on so many levels--recycling, waste stream reduction, organic gardening, community building to mention but a few. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this Hub and gladly share it with my Facebook friends.

Now, if I may be allowed a bit of critique, the conversational style of your writing is quite engaging and enjoyable, as if you were standing next to me and telling me about this project. Your enthusiasm shines through brilliantly. I would suggest you pay closer attention to your punctuation, particularly on the use of commas, as your sentence structure tends to be rather lengthy.

IzzyM profile image

IzzyM 3 years ago from UK Author

Thanks to all the commenters for the vote up, and especially for the sharing.

@Jim, thanks for the advice! I do tend to get carried away sometimes with my own enthusiasm, and will take time to go through the hub and correct punctuation and sentence length - you are right, I do tend to write long sentences and it's a bad habit.

frontstreet profile image

frontstreet 3 years ago from Connecticut

This is great info..I love it..I'm going to build one myself....Thanks for the how-to...Excellent

IzzyM profile image

IzzyM 3 years ago from UK Author

Remember to send me photos of your completed project! Else, I will look forward to reading your hubs on how you did it :)

sharewhatuknow profile image

sharewhatuknow 3 years ago from Western Washington

Wow Izzy, that is awesome. Not in a million years would I have come up with that wonderful idea.

Because I rarely drink soft drinks anymore, and never buy bottled water, I don't have any plastic bottles. But this project is so tempting, I may start doing so. LOL

Voted up, useful and awesome.

Tricia Ward profile image

Tricia Ward 3 years ago from Scotland

Fantastic hub I would love one of these. My council had one at their nursery but then they closed the nursery! I would love this but might be limited in room ....maybe my wee 4 shelf thing could be adapted though as the cover has have me thinking now!

twig22bend profile image

twig22bend 3 years ago

I would love to make one these for a greenhouse. What a wonderful idea and very interesting. Great hub.

mary615 profile image

mary615 3 years ago from Florida

I learn something new every day here on HP! As a gardener, I would love to build one of these greenhouses. Great article. I'be bookmarked it for future reference.

Voted this UP, etc.

Randy Godwin profile image

Randy Godwin 3 years ago from Southern Georgia

What a coincidence! Only a few minute ago I was telling Beth about this very hub and it popped up on my feed! lol! What are the odds of this happening? lol!

IzzyM profile image

IzzyM 3 years ago from UK Author

I think Mary must have shared it. Thanks Mary! This article has never gained search engine traction, it's always Social traffic, so thanks all who share! Oh and it gets copied all the time, which is probably one reason Google hates it (though they seem to rate the copiers higher than this one).

I've got a pretty large collection of plastic bottles out in Spain for my greenhouse project, if I ever get it finished.

Casimiro 3 years ago

Have you been able to get the copies squashed?

IzzyM profile image

IzzyM 3 years ago from UK Author

Yes but every time I check, there is a new one up! Everyone seems to want to copy this hub instead of writing their own.

Elias Zanetti profile image

Elias Zanetti 3 years ago from Athens, Greece

wow! that's a really wonderful idea! thank you, IzzyM, for the wonderful hub! Voted up& awesome+shared! Cheers!

IzzyM profile image

IzzyM 3 years ago from UK Author

Thanks Elias! It would be wonderful to think that this hub inspired loads of plastic bottle greenhouses to be built. What a saving for the landfill sites!

pinkhawk profile image

pinkhawk 3 years ago from Pearl of the Orient

This is really cool! ^_^ Want to try this in the future... thank you for sharing this idea.

IzzyM profile image

IzzyM 3 years ago from UK Author

You're welcome :) It's a lot of work, but it is free.

Kasman profile image

Kasman 3 years ago from Bartlett, Tennessee

This is one of the best greenhouse construction hubs I've seen yet. My wife and I are planning on building one here soon but we had never considered using bottles. I think I'll have to save this hub in my bookmarks. I'm seriously so thankful you did this. Voting this up and very useful personally to us.

IzzyM profile image

IzzyM 3 years ago from UK Author

Many thanks, Kasman! Collecting bottles takes the longest time, so it might be an idea to start now, even though you are not ready to construct the greenhouse. Of course it doesn't have to be a free-standing structure. The choice is yours, it could be a lean-to, a mini-greenhouse, a covering for a raised bed garden, or many other potential designs. PET plastic is top-grade and will withstand almost anything so should last for years.

Jennifer Lynch profile image

Jennifer Lynch 3 years ago from Stowmarket, Suffolk.

Brilliant - I think good to use plastic water bottles and not promote fizzy drinks because they are really bad for you!! But excellent blog and might well have a go.

IzzyM profile image

IzzyM 3 years ago from UK Author

This is true Jennifer, the water bottles are made of the same PET plastic even though less people use them :)

lesliebyars profile image

lesliebyars 3 years ago from Alabama

I think that this is a wonderful idea and I am going to remember this. Thank you for sharing!!

Insightful Tiger profile image

Insightful Tiger 3 years ago

This is a very Cool hub, and I'm so happy you included pictures! voted up and shared!

IzzyM profile image

IzzyM 3 years ago from UK Author

Thanks guys, that is a big help to me, as Google has never really sent any traffic to this hub, and so it depends on social traffic only.

M Zees profile image

M Zees 3 years ago from Karachi, Pakistan

its a very innovative scheme hopefully many other people will use it ~~~ i have no garden... ~~

IzzyM profile image

IzzyM 3 years ago from UK Author

Well, that will save you a LOT of work LOL! Thanks for reading and taking the time to comment :)

shai77 profile image

shai77 3 years ago

Holy cow, I am speechless. That is amazing. What a money-saver, planet-saver, and so good for the plants, too. Unbelievable, that's for sharing this great idea. VU & everything!

tebo profile image

tebo 3 years ago from New Zealand

I too think this is a great idea. I was thinking like you suggested in a previous comment this idea could be used on a smaller scale for frost tender areas of the garden etc. So many uses - great!

DommaLeigh profile image

DommaLeigh 3 years ago

Kewl idea. I doubt my city would let me have one but it would be worth finding out. I love my little veggie garden and I could see protecting it with one of these.

IzzyM profile image

IzzyM 3 years ago from UK Author

I don't see how the city could object - it's not a permanent structure though it should last a few years. Good luck!

DommaLeigh profile image

DommaLeigh 3 years ago

The city has a blight ordinance, the wording is such that if they don't like it, they call it blight and you have to remove it or they fine you. I already did a few rounds to keep my artwork on my garage door. I have seen them make people get rid of the old tire flower pots from their yards because they where used tires and against code.

pestlecelia 3 years ago

I accustomed to receive on top of living yet as of late We've accumulated some sort of resistance.

humahistory profile image

humahistory 2 years ago from UK

Guess I'm coming to this hub a bit late, but, you say in it that you would like to have a construction without a wooden frame.

Thinking about it, I reckon you could construct a bottle greenhouse in a similar manner to a polytunnel.

The bottles could be formed into a curved frame, replacing the 'scaffolding poles'. creating the semi-circle by utilising flexible cane similar to that used in pop-up tents - there must be a better way, though.

This could be continued all the way down the length - this way the construction could be as long as you require. Otherwise use straight sections of bottles to join a number of curved sections together, and then cover with polythene, or bubble wrap.

The ends could be constructed as per your instructions, or they too could be covered with plastic / bubble wrap (in two sections, so that one can gain access).

Hope I've explained this so you can understand what I have visualised in my mind.

If I had a garden I'd try this for myself.

IzzyM profile image

IzzyM 2 years ago from UK Author

Wow! Thanks for taking the time to think of a solution to the construction problem. Much appreciated :)

Martine 2 years ago

Couls I use green bottles for this project?

IzzyM profile image

IzzyM 2 years ago from UK Author

I don't see why not. It would just be like having a shaded greenhouse!

Martine 2 years ago

Thanks for the reply IzzyM. Another question though...would there be enough light inside the greenhouse to start seeds in spring, as the bottles are a quite dark green colour? I've read that one needs a grow light? No problem with heat I think, as it gets very hot in France.

IzzyM profile image

IzzyM 2 years ago from UK Author

Your seedlings will need light. I would honestly start them off elsewhere and put them into the greenhouse at the height of summer. I imagine the summer sun in France would be too hot for them. and a green shaded greenhouse will help keep them cool. The other thing you could do is build your greenhouse with green bottles, but make sun windows with clear plastic bottles and place your seedlings under them?

Martine 2 years ago

The sun windows is a geat idea, thanks! Never would have thought of that. Now to find some clear bottles...

Awesome hub by the way!

Rick 2 years ago

This is a great idea and a great article. I will start mine after the home construction/remodeling is finished. I have a large storage shed, (12X20), and an acre of land.

Nadine May profile image

Nadine May 2 years ago from Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa

Wow I will now start collecting plastic bottles, but it will take some time since we mostly have glass bottles, unless there is a way to do it with glass bottles? Its the cutting that would be a great deal of work I recon he. Great hub! I will try the idea in a small sample for the seedlings.

Andrew Douse profile image

Andrew Douse 2 years ago

Nice hub, i'm new here being a squidooer, but as squidoo had sold out to hubpages my plastic bottle greenhouse page will be transferring over. I built one 5 years ago and have recorded its progress since. Ongoing info about how well it works, and what I grow.

IzzyM profile image

IzzyM 2 years ago from UK Author

Well done you and welcome to Hubpages! No worries if you have similar hub. This one's already copied all over the web so it's been downgraded :( good luck with yours!

Randy Godwin profile image

Randy Godwin 2 years ago from Southern Georgia

Izzy, you'd better get your bones over to the PO thread an let us know how you've been. We've been worrying about your absence and how you've been lately. :)

Li Perry profile image

Li Perry 2 years ago

AWESOME! A really great idea.. since summer is almost over, I am going to try to find a free greenhouse for myself!

Poetry Chick profile image

Poetry Chick 2 years ago from Wisconsin

That is a very neat idea. I love the way you gave step by step instructions on how to do the project. It is very useful, teacher kids about the environment and is very eco-friendly. I look forward to more of your blogs!

jill of alltrades profile image

jill of alltrades 2 years ago from Philippines

Very useful and interesting! Cool!!!

favored profile image

favored 2 years ago from USA

This is something that I'm sure we could do, especially since we have to buy water for drinking. Pinning this for sure. Thanks for bringing this idea to our attention.

MPG Narratives profile image

MPG Narratives 2 years ago from Sydney, Australia

What an excellent idea, and depending on how many plastic bottles are available, a community garden group could probably build more than one. I'm pinning this and showing it to my local garden group so we can start collecting those bottles.

Dixie 2 years ago

It seems like if you could arrange it so that you didn't have to cut the bottom or top off and filled it with some clear liquid that wouldn't evaporate (I'm not sure what that would be), that would add insulation. If you added water and glued the lids back on, would the water evaporate? I am not a scientist as you can tell, but surely someone could come up with something.

reza 2 years ago

I think is one kind of creativity and really suitable for good environment.

plastic bottle is dust after use but is not dust.Really awesome idea for good environment .

DealForALiving profile image

DealForALiving 2 years ago from Earth

This is such a cool idea and so inspiring the way you think~

SheGetsCreative profile image

SheGetsCreative 2 years ago from Seattle, WA

What a great recycling project this would make! Pinned

Jemjoseph profile image

Jemjoseph 2 years ago

This greenhouse made of bottles is awesome, the type of bottles that I frequently use are much bigger, I wonder if they could be used the same way and what it would look like.

PaynesGrey 2 years ago

Fantastic idea, I'm a great one for recycling and love my plants too, I shall try this on a scale to suit my small garden. Thank you so much for the information.

Besarien profile image

Besarien 2 years ago

This was such a great tip. Nice job!

Solaras profile image

Solaras 2 years ago

Very cool Thumbs up and shared on FB!

MATTY 2 years ago

Have for sure i'll do it.

Romanian profile image

Romanian 20 months ago from Oradea, Romania

It's first time I see a greenhouse like this. It's awesome.

highland_exile 18 months ago

Interesting in theory, but there is nothing 'less green' about using wood for a frame if it comes from a sustainable source, or reclaimed wood is used. Our kennel is built out of my fathers old garden shed, which started life 50 yrs ago as a henhouse. Not green?

mgbeheler 18 months ago

I've been collecting bottles for about a year and a half, from personal consumption and a few parties. Stored some in my shed, but soon had too many. Began putting them in big garbage bags and storing them under the shed. Decided to go ahead and remove labels and bottoms of the bottles as I collected them, so I could fit a few more in each bag.

Discovered wind can blow a bags of empty plastic bottles from under a shed, and sprinkle both bags and bottles all over a lawn. Weather weakens the bags, too.

Decided to go ahead and string them like beads on some clothes line. It takes 10 bottles to make a column 8 feet tall. It takes 3 columns side by side to make a panel a foot wide. So to make a 4X8 panel, the size of a sheet of plywood, one bottle thick it takes 120 bottles.

3x4=12. 12x10=120.

Nolimits Nana profile image

Nolimits Nana 17 months ago from British Columbia

Good information for people recycling their bottles into a greenhouse! Thanks.

gepeTooRs 13 months ago

Hey very cool website!! Guy .. Excellent .. Wonderful .. I’ll bookmark your website and take the feeds also?I am satisfied to find numerous useful information here within the post, we want work out extra techniques on this regard, thank you for sharing. . . . . .

rachel Smithh 11 months ago

well I think we are going to find out how well it will stand up to extreme sun and heat I live in buckeye Arizona we've been known to easily have 115 to 126 degree summers so after I can get one built which will take me a little while to do since it will be only me building it. i'll let u know jus how well it will stand up against our scorching summers I'm jus hoping it doesn't wilt melt or combust from built up heat trapping in bottles over time . I've seen many things out here heat pressure explode from tires on parked cars the huge glass trunk window on my parked Trans am trash cans to bottles. so this could interesting if the ends heat seal to the inner lock bottles.. guess there's only one way to find out build it way Frm house and see what happens over time. I'll keep u posted if goes well or not. if anyone else lives in harsh place like mine and worry bout that u can always drill 1 small hole in side of bottles on the inside of green house. I've seen plastic bottles out here worp & melt together so I have 50/50 it could go either way but I'm a risk taker & not gonna drill vent holes .

suzzycue profile image

suzzycue 10 months ago from Ontario, Canada

Wow What an idea to upcycle plastic bottles. If we made them bigger they could be shelters for the homeless. I would live in one. They would be warm. This has great easy to follow instructions. Maybe the frames could be pvc pipes. The pipes could be drilled out and the cane poles would fit right into the holes.

lrdl3535 profile image

lrdl3535 6 months ago from California

Great idea but I don't think I would have the patience for it.

shahnaz kaouser 5 months ago

its amazing, help me a lot ...

bornjester1559 3 weeks ago

I know i'm still a little "green" about all this house building.

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