CMA Stories

How-To: Plastic Bottle Challenge

Last year, the average American used 167 disposable water bottles, but only recycled 38. What else can we do with this pesky yet ubiquitous piece of trash? Show us your creativity as you transform your bottle, then tag it with #CMACIVICKIDS!

What you’ll need:

  • Plastic bottle

  • Juice box

  • Duct tape

  • Rubber band

  • Chopsticks

  • Scissors


1. To make the propellor, cut the top off a juice box.

2. Cut the two narrow sides off, and use them as a guide to cut out two more pieces the same size.

3. Fold the juice box strips in half crosswise.

4. With small strips of duct tape, attach the folded pieces of juice box together. You should end up with a “plus” shape when completed.

5. Place a strip of duct tape down on the table with the sticky side facing up.

6. Place a chopstick across one end of the duct tape.

7. Begin rolling. As your bottle starts to get covered with tape, attach the chopstick to the bottle in the process.

8. Add another chopstick opposite the first one and finish taping.

9. Place a loose rubber band at the very end of the chopsticks away from the bottle.

10. Insert the propeller and begin to twist.

11. Place your boat in the water and release!

This program is supported, in part, by the Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation, the New York State Council on the Arts with support of Governor Andrew Cuomo, and public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs. CIVICKIDS is sponsored by Google.


Sign up to get updates and special invitations