10 Quick Uses For a Plastic Bottle

Aug 22nd 2010 at 6:51 AM

Plastic bottles accumulate in our landfills at a rate of 40 million per day.  That is an astonishing statistic.

I have quickly listed 10 things that you can re-use a plastic bottle for.  As I state all the time, re-using something keeps another item from entering the waste stream.  It also saves money.  We are all so addicted to having a particular item for a particular purpose that we have become a nation filled with unnecessary objects.

This is just a very quick list of things; some of them you may have already tried and a few might be new to you.  Mostly, this list is meant to get you thinking about re-using objects.  To start you looking at something and saying, "Well, I can use this for . . . ".

  • Use as a Measuring Cup -  If you need to measure something that you would rather not put in the measuring cup you use for cooking, make your own!  Say you need one cup of a cleaning fluid.  Pour one cup of water into your regular measuring cup, then pour the water into the plastic bottle.  Mark the level of the water on the bottle with permanent marker. Pour the water out and you can now measure the cleaning fluid into the bottle.  I use one for algaecide in the pool.  Will work for anything.

  • A Funnel - Cut the top off of a plastic bottle and turn upside down to use as an instant funnel.

  • Pencil Holder - Use the bottom  of the bottle you cut for the funnel to let the kids make a pencil holder.  Use whatever you have around to decorate it, like fun foam, glitter, paint, sticker, etc for an instant rainy day craft.

  • Bank - Two liter soda bottles make a great bank for pennies, nickels and dimes.  If you want one that can hold quarters,too, than you are going to need to use a three liter version.  Again, you can let the kids decorate it however they want for another almost free craft.

  • Noise Makers - Use smaller bottles to show your team spirit.  Throw in pennies, washers, bead - anything that will make noise.  Decorate in team colors and you have an instant shaker.  Try some small bells for a really cool sound variation.

  • Paint Brush Well - Cut top off and use to hold rinse water for paint brushes when painting.  Can also be used to hold small amounts of paint for small projects, touch ups, trim, etc.

  • Feed & Water House Plants - Mix you house plant food and keep it in a plastic bottle for easy dispersing.  Again, you can measure off amounts and mark on bottle with permanent marker for easy mixing and dispersement.

  • Plant Incubators - When frost threatens in the spring, protect tender plants by cutting the top off a plastic bottle and placing over plants to protect them from the cold.  

  • Flower Pot Filler - If you have a very large planter, such as a half barrel, try throwing some smaller bottles in the bottom to fill space.  Most plants will not require the amount of soil and space in an oversized planter and you will save on expensive container mix.

  • Ice Packs - Fill about 3/4 of the way with water, put the cap back on and freeze.  Pack into coolers - works just as well as "blue ice".  Won't get your sandwiches soggy and will provide fresh, cold drinking water if needed.  Save on buying bags of ice to fill large coolers.  Great for cooling down bunnies and other small animals in hot weather, too.

  • Please remember to be careful when cutting bottles for any project.  Use tin snips or heavy duty scissors and wear gloves.  Always wash out with warm soapy water and rinse well.  


    Please to comment
    Nov 23rd 2010 at 8:07 PM by CraftCycler
    Hi Ian - anything you do to reuse an object keeps another object from entering the consumer waste stream. Re-using is ALWAYS a great idea :)
    Nov 23rd 2010 at 6:54 PM by ianb1970
    Hi Loretta, great post, this use may be a little morbid, but practical all the same. My friend uses plastic bottles as candle holders in the cemetery for her mum (because the cleaners regularly clean up and toss all those sorts of things) by cutting a door in the side, lets the light out while shielding from the wind. Just a thought. Thanks for posting.
    Nov 2nd 2010 at 2:45 PM by GTBulmer
    Hello, Loretta: Great list of uses for plastic bottles! Thanks for posting.

    One more use: I cut 2-litre plastic bottles into hanging bird feeders for my backyard "pets." Works great, once they learn where the openings are and quite trying to get the seeds through the plastic, lol! GT :-)
    Sep 19th 2010 at 8:56 AM by deewest
    Good Article I like the Ice Packs one the best! Good thinking!
    Sep 9th 2010 at 7:18 AM by CraftCycler
    Thanks so much for the Tweet Harris:) Followed you back - have a great day!
    Sep 8th 2010 at 9:51 PM by HarrisPromo
    Tweeted. Nice read, followed
    Aug 26th 2010 at 8:31 AM by myqute
    Nice article!
    Aug 25th 2010 at 7:56 AM by CraftCycler
    Thanks for all the love, guys! Plastic bottles accumulate in landfills at the rate of almost 2 million per hour! As far as disguising them, you are only limited by your imagination! Keep thinking "What else can I do with this?"
    Aug 25th 2010 at 1:47 AM by yhbecpublisher
    You have some new ones here I hadn't thought of, fantastic! At a stall day I went to once I saw a lady had cut 2-litre cordial bottles in half and somehow crocheted a doll cradle/handbag - it was reversible so the little girl could carry her doll in the bed. 8-D Soroya
    Aug 25th 2010 at 1:34 AM by robdomanesq
    Hi - this is cool. We've used 'em to hold straws in too. It's pretty much endless - so long as you can redecorate the thing - you can reuse it for anything. You can knit a cozy for it so it isn't so obvious what is was and re-use it (either if you cut it up or even if you don't) as another way to dress it up. Great list of ideas for how to re-use it. The ice pack idea is fantastic. - Rob
    Aug 22nd 2010 at 2:05 PM by incomepowerboost
    Wow those are really cool ideas never thought a empty bottle could fill so many uses.
    Aug 22nd 2010 at 8:31 AM by CraftCycler
    Hi visionary! We did the milk carton thing, too. I think it was some kind of beans we planted. We also did the grass seeds grown out of cotton balls. Thanks for the compliments & I am glad that you are thinking about another way to re-use a plastic bottle! I feel like I accomplished something today! LOL
    Aug 22nd 2010 at 7:30 AM by visionary
    I remember as a child in school, we use to use milk cartons to grow plants in. I was so proud of my little plant on the window sill growing bigger everyday. I was thinking that plastic bottles can be use for that purpose also. Stella Great article by the way.

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