Today’s nomination for “That’s so clever, why didn’t I think of that?” is the simply named Plastic Bottle Cutter, a tool that turns discarded plastic bottles into usable rope.

This “invention” is simple a piece of wood cut with channels that are controlled with a metal fastener. Inside of the block of wood is a razor blade. The fastener controls the size of the cuts, and the razor cuts it.

The real genius here is the simplicity and usability of the product. The only real caveat being a need to heat up the bottle (the temperature depending on the plastic) use something to cut out the bottom, and then stick it in the the machine to turn it into rope.

We really do love this little device. Heat the plastic over a fire, cut it with the nearest knife, and you’re off to the races.

Now, for a downside. The creators are funding this through a Kickstarter campaign. While they could just be doing this as a way to generate capital to mass produce and ship, we really hoped this would be an open source project with plans for anyone to copy, especially considering the humanitarian applications of the Plastic Bottle Cutter.

Under the FAQ section of the campaign this is addressed, kind of. If you want one (or more) for an altruistic reason, you can email the creators at [email protected] with the subject “CHARITY”. At the end of the campaign on April 23rd, they’ll ” try to find the solution for you.”

The other concern is the potential sharp edge on the rope. Again, the creators have assured that, while it does have a definite edge, it won’t break human skin under normal use (whatever that is). We’ll have to reserve judgement until we acquire one.

Without undermining the idea or taking anything away from the creators, we hope this finds its way to the masses in either an open source format or an accessible price. We should all recycle, so why not make it easier?