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Here’s how to transform plastic bottles into strong, versatile string

Why it matters to you

A method for turning old plastic bottles into strong plastic string should come in handy when the zombie apocalypse arrives.

Do you own a small block of wood and a knife? Looking for something MacGyver-esque to do with all those plastic bottles you’ve got piled up? Constantly find yourself short of string?

If the stars align in such a way that you answered “yes” to all three of the above questions, then you may be interested in a nifty “survival hack” demonstrated by YouTuber Grant Thomson in one of his latest videos. As the owner of the “King of Random” YouTube Channel, Thomson makes videos exploring a wide range of “life hacks, experiments, and random weekend projects.” In this particular video he teaches us how to make near endless supplies of strong plastic string using the most basic of tools.

The “hack” involves cutting a small block of wood and then sticking a knife into it to form a makeshift blade. Into this, Thomson then feeds a bottle, which — provided the blade is positioned correctly — cuts incredibly thin strips of bottle. Pulling the bottle then transforms it into string. Using just a few bottles, he ends up making more than 1,200 feet of string.

That’s not his only similar hack, either. Inspired by his string-making success, Thomson then goes onto fashion the string into plastic ropes, using a previous contraption he had created.

“I’ve seen soda bottle string, but with my rope-making machine [that I] recently created, it made me wonder what would happen if I put the two together,” he told Digital Trends. “Many comments were asking me to combine several ropes as well, and this was the perfect opportunity to try that as well to see what would happen.”

As for practical applications … well, they’re pretty much what you would expect. “The practical applications for soda bottle rope are probably the same as anything you could use rope for I imagine,” he said. “If you got the strands thin enough, it would be even finer.”

Well, that takes care of one part of our zombie apocalypse survival kit. Now we just need someone who can tell us how to fashion discarded cable ties into a bludgeoning tool…