Milk bottles found to feed imagination

'Small' hobby yields big creations

BRITTANY PICKETT
Last updated 11:30 12/08/2014
Archie McDonald
BRITTANY PICKETT/Fairfax NZ
FUN TIMES: Invercargill man Archie McDonald has found a fun way to recycle milk bottles.

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Invercargill man Archie McDonald has discovered an everyday item could double as an affordable child's building block.

One night McDonald was sitting on his couch watching television while holding old milk one litre milk containers when he noticed the ridges down the side of the bottles.

He figured out if the handle end was removed they could be clicked together and he immediately started inventing. His garage is full of windmills, a table, a house and even some plastic children.

"I have no children, so I make my own," he said.

The impressive house, big enough for grown ups is made up of 1264 plastic bottles and took seven months to build. Milk bottles had been pouring in from all over, even his mail lady was dropping them off.

"The mail lady doesn't leave me many letters but she leaves me bottles," he said.

The small hobby was meant to stay small but after a while McDonald was hooked on inventing.

"I was actually not going to do anymore but then the bug hit me," he said.

The inventions were not likely to come apart but McDonald had a secret to detach them - hot water. The water made the plastic shrink and the ridges come apart.

As a child he had made all his own toys because times were tough, he said.

The average one litre bottle of milk costs $2 to $3 today.

The tools to start inventing these contraptions were quite cheap and an effective way to recycle, McDonald said.

"There's a lot of children out there that have families who might be a little bit hung up on money," he said.

Children could easily put together the toys together.

"They could have a lot of fun, they just have to believe."

It was another way to get children outside and playing instead of attached to technology, he said.

McDonald would be pleased to show parents and children his workshop and show them how to make their own milk bottle toys.

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- Invercargill Eye

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