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10 Ideas for Recycling Containers at Home

Updated on September 24, 2016
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I love to share the benefit of the experience I have gained over three quarters of a century, be it useful tips, love, jokes or technology

Recycling is One of My Passions

I don't know what it is about recycling and finding a use for objects that most people would discard, but I love thinking up new ways to avoid throwing things away. It sometimes drives my family mad, although on occasions I see that they are quite impressed with my efforts.

Using an old fireguard to protect seedlings from cats and birds.
Using an old fireguard to protect seedlings from cats and birds. | Source

Saving Our Planet One Step at a Time:

Plastic, tin, and cardboard containers can be recycled in many different ways. Here are ten examples of things I do to upcycle common household waste items.

1. Use Plastic Food Containers To Hold Food Waste

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Stand a plastic tray on your kitchen counter, a meat tray for example, and use it for food waste that you will later tip into your recycling bin.

2. Use Plastic Yogurt Lids On Kitchen Counters

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I keep a yogurt lid on the kitchen counter for use as a spoon rest and teabag receptacle, to keep the counter clean.

3. Paint Tall Plastic Containers and Use Them to Store Pens

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Here's a black plastic pot which I painted with an Aztec design. Anyone can paint a simple picture if they put their mind to it.

4. Use Decorative Tissue Boxes as Containers

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Boxes that are already brightly colored make good storage units. Here they are being used to store medicines.

5. Put Containers Under Plant Pots to Use as Plant Pot Saucers

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Here are some plant pots standing in empty steak-pie tins. You could put plastic yogurt lids under smaller pots to use as planter drip trays.

6. Use Lidded Plastic Containers for Seeds

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Use small plastic containers or bottles to dry and store seeds collected from the garden. Make sure you label them to avoid wrongly identifying them. I recently planted what I thought were onion seeds and was astonished to find masses of baby tomatoes growing very healthily.

7. Use Perforated Plastic Fruit Containers to Grow Seedlings

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Plastic fruit containers with holes in the bottom provide good drainage for seedlings. If you look carefully, you'll see that this seedlings container is actually standing in another container which collects any surplus water, as it isn't perforated.

8. Use Plastic Milk Bottles to Water Seedlings in Your Shed

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If your shed doesn't have running water or a watering system this will enable you to keep a supply for when you need it. Fill up several large plastic milk bottles with water and store them in the shed, using them to water seedlings directly, or pouring the water into a watering can for watering.

9. Use Decorative Boxes to Wrap and Protect Fragile Gifts

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10. Use Cereal Boxes to Make Files

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Just cut the upper part of the cereal box to shape it, and then cover it with patterned paper. This gives you the option of choosing colors and designs to match your home decor.

If you would like to know more, read my explanation in detail of How to Make Matching Files.

Here's a Summary of Ways to Re-Use Containers:


  1. Use plastic food containers as food waste receptacles
  2. Leave yogurt lid on kitchen counter for used teabags
  3. Paint tall plastic containers to store pens
  4. Use decorative tissue boxes to wrap fragile gifts such as mugs
  5. Use empty tinned pie dishes for plant pot holders/saucers or yogurt pot lids for smaller pots
  6. Use small plastic bottles to store and dry seeds collected from the garden
  7. Use plastic fruit containers with holes in the bottom to grow seedlings
  8. Keep a few large plastic milk containers filled with water in your potting shed to water your seedlings
  9. Use decorative tissue boxes to hold pills and medicines
  10. Use cereal boxes to make files

How Important Is It to You to Keep Things Out of the Waste Tip?

Have You Seriously Considered Recycling Things Around You?

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A Video About Recycling Plastic Bottles

© 2016 Diana Grant

Leave a Comment or Your Own Recycling Suggestions Here:

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    • Linda BookLady profile image

      Linda Jo Martin 3 weeks ago from Post Falls, Idaho, USA

      Thanks for the great ideas! I especially like the container you're using to grow seedlings. I will try this next spring.

    • Andria Perry profile image

      Andria Perry 12 months ago from Anniston, Alabama

      I do a couple of these already, great tips!

    • PegCole17 profile image

      Peg Cole 12 months ago from Dallas, Texas

      I love these innovative ideas for reusing common items. Some of the plastic containers are just too good to throw into the recycling barrel. I like using the orange juice jugs for mixing dry powder drinks and cardboard egg cartons for starting seedlings.

    • Larry Rankin profile image

      Larry Rankin 13 months ago from Oklahoma

      Great ideas.