6 ways to reuse plastic milk bottles and jugs

plastic milk jugs and bottlesFor this week’s ‘Change the World Wednesday’ challenge, Reduce Footprints has asked us to stay with the 3 Rs.

She wants us to pick one item people might regularly throw away and come up with as many reuse ideas as we can.

As you’ll be aware, the 3 R’s are in that order for a reason – reducing is better than reusing because it prevents us using resources and energy. Reuse is better than recycling because it reduces the need for energy to turn items from one form to another. Recycling, although good, requires more energy to transform things.

Finding creative ways to reuse things around the hone is a great way to add to your recycling efforts and help reduce landfill.

This week I’m going to focus on a plastic milk bottle. I’ve chosen this because the majority of families drink a lot of milk and get through several of these thick plastic bottles every week

Here are 6 Ways to reuse plastic milk bottles

Bird Feeders.

Here’s a great way to attract birds to your garden for free! There are instructions for making your own bird feeder from an old plastic milk jug. The project takes just 15 minutes.


The washing powder I buy doesn’t come with a scoop and the powder often spills out. By cutting off the handled section you get a handy scoop. We could use this for measuring out rabbit food too.

Seedling containers

Cut off the top of an empty milk jug, punch a few holes in the base and you have the perfect containers for sowing seeds and growing your seedlings.

Drawer tidy

In our office is a deep drawer that everything gets lost in. I’ve been looking for a drawer organiser but never found anything to fit. By taking the bottom 3 inches from several milk jugs you could fix them side by side and store paper clips, elastic bands, staples etc.

Watering can

This is Little Miss Green’s favourite idea! Buy an eco spout and turn your empty plastic milk bottle into a handy watering can. It’s small and lightweight making it perfect for children to do their own gardening.

Pencil pot

Cut the milk bottle off a few inches below the top and use it to store pencils and pens.

What about you? What creative reuse ideas do you have for saving plastic milk bottles from landfill?


  1. Melodie on November 8, 2010 at 6:32 am

    I made glowing ghosts for Halloween out of mine. I cut out a small hole in the bottom where the label is and drew a scary ghost face with permanent marker on the blank side. Then I stuffed some Christmas lights inside the hole – I was actually able to stuff the lights inside up to 3 milk jug ghosts. I put them out with the pumpkins and stored them for use next year too. People loved them!

  2. Steve & Denise on November 8, 2010 at 12:03 pm

    We needed a way to close off our open balcony windows in the outdoor kitchen area of our campsite. So we collected hundreds of 5litre plastic water bottles and placed them in wooden frames to make demountable windows. Whwnever the wind picks up or we get driving rain we simply lift the windows into place and thus make the area more cosy and sheltered. We think they look pretty cool too. Try following this link to see some pictures on our flickr photo site. http://flic.kr/p/8zagws

  3. Small Footprints on November 9, 2010 at 6:28 pm

    Oh … wonderful! I really like the bird feeder idea!

    Thanks, Mrs. Green!

  4. Inge on November 10, 2010 at 6:29 am

    I really like the bird feeder idea also! this will be a great project for my grandson and I to do together.

    I also like the scoop idea. I never thought of that. Since I use lime on my garden and in my yard, this will be perfect! I have been using a soda can that I cut the top off of, but, this is bigger and safer!

  5. Mrs Green on December 24, 2010 at 6:50 am

    @Melodie: LOVE the glowing ghosts idea Melodie; they sound so cute!

    @Steve & Denise: absolutely brilliant – thanks for sharing the great photos.

    @Inge: Glad you found the ideas useful; hope the bird feeder turns out well 🙂