10 Ideas for Recycling Containers at Home

Updated on January 16, 2018
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I love to share 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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2. Use Plastic Yogurt Lids On Kitchen Counters

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

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4. Use Decorative Boxes to Wrap and Protect Fragile Gifts

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5. Use decorative tissue boxes or larger decorated boxes to hold pills and medicines

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

For the larger box shown above, I found an attractive pattern on the internet, printed it onto A4 paper, and then glue several copies round a cardboard box. I have various useful containers of this type around my home, mostly containing medicines, but also some containing CDs.

5. Use Decorative Tissue Boxes or Larger Boxes as Containers

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6. Containers Placed Under Plant Pots to Use as Plant Pot Saucers

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7. Using Lidded Plastic Containers for Seeds

Various Plain Plastic Boxes
Various Plain Plastic Boxes | Source
Plastic Pill Boxes Painted by Me
Plastic Pill Boxes Painted by Me | Source

8. Using Perforated Plastic Fruit Containers to Grow Seedlings

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9. Using Plastic Milk Bottles to Water Seedlings in Your Shed

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10. Use cereal boxes to make files

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.

10. Using Cereal Boxes to Make Files

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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 decorative tissue boxes or larger boxes to hold pills and medicines
  6. Use empty tinned pie dishes for plant pot holders/saucers or yogurt pot lids for smaller pots
  7. Use small plastic bottles to store and dry seeds collected from the garden
  8. Use plastic fruit containers with holes in the bottom to grow seedlings
  9. Keep a few large plastic milk containers filled with water in your potting shed to water your seedlings
  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

Questions & Answers

    © 2016 Diana Grant

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      • Thelma Alberts profile image

        Thelma Alberts 2 months ago from Germany

        Great tips. I recycle things for my garden when I am in my Philippines garden. Thanks for sharing. I will surely do what I can to avoid waste.

      • Linda BookLady profile image

        Linda Jo Martin 6 months 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 19 months ago from Anniston, Alabama

        I do a couple of these already, great tips!

      • PegCole17 profile image

        Peg Cole 19 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 19 months ago from Oklahoma

        Great ideas.

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