7 Clever Ways to Reuse Plastic Bottles and Boxes

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Green Living

We all know that plastic waste is a global problem. Despite our efforts to recycle plastic items, only 14% of plastic waste is being recycled worldwide, with just 2% being transformed into something equally valuable, according to the World Economic Forum. This is because old plastic is expensive to collect and sort, and it often degrades after one or two uses, making it more toxic to recycle. On the contrary, producing new plastic is cheap and easy.

Instead of throwing plastic containers in the trash or recycling bin, we can repurpose them for other uses. Here are seven clever ways to reuse plastic bottles and boxes:

1. Storage Solutions

Reuse plastic containers to store different items such as travel-sized shampoo, conditioner, or lotion in old pill bottles. You can also store pens, pencils, and markers in tall, thin containers that hold lemonade packets. For leftover paint, use old peanut butter jars instead of paint cans. Yogurt cups are perfect for keeping small items organized in your drawers or fridge.

2. Pet Scooper

Cut an old plastic container at the food line to create a perfectly sized scoop to feed your pet. You can also use an old laundry detergent bottle with a handle to scoop your dog’s poop.

3. Watering System

Create an irrigation system for your plants by using an old soda bottle. Make a small hole in the bottle’s cap using a nail, fill it with water, and bury it upside-down in the soil. This will keep your plants watered for a few days.

After you return from your trip, you can water your plants by yourself with a DIY watering can. Take an old gallon (3.8-liter) milk jug and wash it thoroughly. Then, use a hammer and nail to make small holes in the lid and another small hole in the handle of the bottle, which will allow air to enter and aid in water flow. Fill the jug with water, and you’re done. You can also make a smaller watering can with a quart-sized jug for your little helpers.

4. Repurpose for Gift Wrapping

You can reuse clamshell containers that are often found at grocery stores for many purposes, including:

  • Use large, lidded containers to carry hors d’oeuvres to your neighbor’s party.
  • Line old lettuce containers with wax paper or foil to cover the venting, then fill with holiday cookies to gift to your friends.
  • If you are shipping fragile items, place them in a plastic container first, then put the container in a box and cushion with bubble wrap or shredded paper.

5. Store Leftovers or Lunch

Well-fitting plastic containers are ideal for storing leftovers. Use whipped butter containers, frozen whipped topping containers, or restaurant take-home boxes. They’re also perfect for delivering food to others, as there’s no need to worry about getting your container back. If you want to take a sandwich to eat at the airport but don’t want it to get squished in your backpack, place it in one of these containers.

6. Reduce Bulk Goods

Purchasing items in bulk can save you money, but a 25-pound (11-kilogram) bag of rice may not fit in your cupboard. Instead, transfer a small amount of rice into a plastic container for convenient kitchen storage and store the rest in a closet or your basement until you need more.

7. Get Creative

The possibilities for reusing plastic containers in your crafting projects are endless. Here are a few ideas:

Here are some DIY ideas to upcycle plastic bottles into fun and useful items. You can save gallon milk jugs and turn them into Mr. Bottle Bones, a cute skeleton Halloween decoration. Don’t throw away the wavy bottoms of plastic bottles, instead, cut them off and make snowflake designs. Paint them silver, white or blue and hang them up for your winter d├ęcor. For a toddler’s Halloween costume, create a jet pack using a pair of 2-liter bottles painted silver as fuel containers. Cut red and yellow foam into jagged shapes for the flames and stuff them into the bottle openings. Attach the bottles to a cardboard fitted with roping for the child to wear like a backpack. However, not all plastic containers should be reused. Be careful when reheating leftovers in a plastic takeout container or refilling a “single-use” plastic water bottle as they may leach harmful chemicals into your food.

FAQ

1. What are some creative ways to reuse plastic bottles and boxes?

There are several ingenious ways to reuse plastic bottles and boxes. One idea is to turn them into planters for small herbs or flowers. Cut off the top of the bottle or box, add soil and seeds, and watch your plants grow. Another idea is to turn plastic bottles into bird feeders. Cut out a hole in the side of the bottle, add birdseed, and hang it up outside. You can also use plastic bottles and boxes to organize your home. Cut off the top of a bottle and use it as a pencil holder or cut off the bottom of a box and use it to store shoes.

2. How can plastic bottles and boxes be used in the garden?

Plastic bottles and boxes can be used in the garden in many ways. One idea is to create a drip irrigation system using plastic bottles. Poke holes in the sides of the bottle, fill it with water, and bury it next to your plants. The water will slowly seep out of the holes, keeping your plants hydrated. Another idea is to use plastic bottles as plant markers. Cut off the top of the bottle, label it with the plant name, and stick it in the soil next to the plant. You can also use plastic boxes as seed starters. Fill the box with soil, add seeds, and cover with plastic wrap to create a mini greenhouse.

3. Can plastic bottles be turned into toys?

Yes, plastic bottles can be turned into toys. One idea is to create a bowling game using plastic bottles. Fill the bottles with water or sand to weigh them down and use a ball to knock them over. You can also turn plastic bottles into musical instruments. Fill the bottles with different levels of water and blow across the top to create different tones. Another idea is to create a sensory bottle by filling the bottle with water, glitter, and small toys. Your child can shake the bottle and watch the glitter and toys move around.

4. How can plastic bottles be used for storage?

Plastic bottles can be used for storage in many ways. One idea is to create a storage container for your toiletries when traveling. Cut off the top of a bottle and use it to store your toothbrush and toothpaste. Another idea is to use plastic bottles as a way to store and pour dry goods such as rice or flour. Cut off the bottom of the bottle, fill it with the dry goods, and put the cap back on. You can also use plastic bottles to store small items such as buttons or beads. Cut off the top of the bottle and use it as a small jar.

5. Can plastic bottles be used for home decor?

Yes, plastic bottles can be used for home decor. One idea is to create a chandelier using plastic bottles. Cut off the bottom of the bottles and string them together to create a unique lighting fixture. You can also use plastic bottles to create a vase for flowers. Cut off the top of the bottle, fill it with water, and add your favorite blooms. Another idea is to create a mobile using plastic bottles. Cut off the top and bottom of the bottles and string them together to create a colorful decoration.

6. How can plastic bottles be used to create art?

Plastic bottles can be used to create art in many ways. One idea is to create a sculpture using plastic bottles. Cut the bottles into different shapes and sizes and glue them together to create a unique piece of art. Another idea is to create a painting using the bottom of a bottle as a stamp. Dip the bottom of the bottle into paint and stamp it onto a canvas to create a fun and textured painting. You can also create a hanging decoration using plastic bottles. Cut off the top and bottom of the bottle, cut it into strips, and weave the strips together to create a colorful hanging decoration.

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