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How to Reuse Plastic Containers

written by: Cheryl Gabbert•edited by: Niki Fears•updated: 5/28/2009

One trip to the grocery store can leave you holding more than a few plastic containers. If you hate to throw away so much plastic, why not think of some new methods of plastic recycling. Here are some new ideas for recycling the items that make their way into your home.

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    Plastic Containers Everywhere!

    Plastic Containers do seem to be everywhere! One trip to the grocery store and you'll see for yourself. Butter, margarine, yogurt cups, and sour cream. You probably have plastic containers of all shapes and sizes in your home. Many of them probably got there from the grocery and other stores. No matter where they came from, it's better to find a use for them around the house than to throw them out. Landfills are full of plastic that will take many years to degrade because 90% of plastic is not recycled. As a matter of fact, we don't know how long it will take for plastic to degrade. Plastic has been around for about 100 years and the first plastics are still here! Some experts believe it will take hundreds of years for plastics in landfills to degrade. This is why we really need to recycle plastic containers whenever possible.

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    Find a New Use for Plastic

    Plastic Water Bottles

    1. Cut off the bottom of a plastic water bottle in such a way to form a scoop. You can use this in the garden as a way to scoop up compost or potting soil.

    2. Cut off the top third of plastic water bottles and you have great planting pots. Punch a hole or two in the bottom for drainage. These make great plant starting containers.

    3. Use the top portion of a water bottle as a funnel. Just turn it upside down and take off the bottle cap.

    Milk Jugs

    1. Hand weights: Fill half gallon plastic jugs with sand. Weigh to see how heavy the weight will be and mark container with a Sharpee pen. Hold on to the handles and lift! Make several pair of hand weights: 5 lb., 8 lb, and 10lb.

    2. Make luminarias. Cut off the top below the handle. Fill 1/3 full with sand. Place a candle in the container and light. Place along a sidewalk for a pretty party night decoration.

    3. Use gallon size containers to store sugar, coffee, etc.

    4. Use the bottom of a gallon size milk jug to hold a toilet brush in the bathroom.

    Butter Containers

    1. Use a butter container with a lid to hold spare change.

    2. Butter containers with lids can be used to hold foods in lunch boxes: fruits like grapes, berries, or boiled eggs work well.

    3. Make a sewing kit with a large butter tub. Place needles, thread and other sewing essential inside.

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    Resources

    1. http://www.professorshouse.com/your-home/environmentally-friendly/why-recycle-plastic.aspx