DIY Crafts The best way to reduce the number of plastic bottles in landfills is to avoid buying them in the first place. Reuse is second best, but when you can't avoid them, try one of these clever plastic bottle reuses to give them a new life!

Published on August 13th, 2015 | by Jeff McIntire-Strasburg

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13 Plastic Bottle Reuses (+ how NOT to reuse them)

The best way to reduce the number of plastic bottles in landfills is to avoid buying them in the first place. Reuse is second best, but when you can't avoid them, try one of these clever plastic bottle reuses to give them a new life!

The best way to reduce the number of plastic bottles in landfills is to avoid buying them in the first place. Reuse is second best, but when you can’t avoid them, try one of these clever plastic bottle reuses to give them a new life!

Pretty much any time we’ve pulled together a collection of reuse and upcycling projects, at least one involves plastic bottles. Not only are these items versatile, but they’re also readily available. Americans throw away 2.5 million of them every hour.

Yes, most of them are recyclable, but, as Becky Striepe pointed out over at Care2 (and as we’ve noted ourselves a number of times), not infinitely. In fact, most plastic will get one more round of life as a lesser product, and then it’s landfill bound.

So, as a consumer, the best thing you can do to lessen our dependence on plastic bottles is to buy fewer of them. As an environmentalist, you may want to figure out some plastic bottle reuses to extend the lives of ones that do end up in your home. They’ll still end up in the landfill eventually, but crafty upcycling will probably get a bit more life than many of the recycling options.

How Not to Reuse Plastic Bottles

Generally, as many have pointed out over and over, reusing a plastic bottle as a drink or food container isn’t always the best choice: many plastics (especially those that contain BPA) can leach nasty stuff into your food or drink. But there are still lots of things you can do with those bottles… you may even want to start raiding neighbor’s recycling bins (please note I’m not encouraging that… just mentioning the possibility that this could happen!).

13 Plastic Bottle Reuses

1. Hydroponic planters: Just came across this one and had to share – great idea for growing herbs, lettuce, etc., on windowsills. And no reason you couldn’t also reuse old plastic loofahs…

2. Desk organizer cup thingies: Not exactly sure what to call these (obviously), but they could be really useful for straightening out that desk drawer that’s currently in shambles…

3. A cute freestanding kitty-cat planter: Because, why not…

4. A hanging planter: For indoors or out.

5. A “topsy-turvy”-style upside-down tomato planter: Because this concept is still awfully cool…

6. A greenhouse: Why stop with planters when you can also build a greenhouse to hold them?

7. A plastic bag dispenser: Double up on your reuse with this one…

8. Indoor lighting: This concept from the developing world could also work in a kids’ playhouse, or a cabin without electricity.

9. Window shades: That don’t look like the ordinary louvered blinds…

10. A hummingbird feeder: And once you’ve got this made, there’s even a recipe for hummingbird food…

11. An ottoman: Yep, you can even make furniture from the things…

12. A trash can: Or, if you prefer, a recycling bin…

13. A boat: Yep, a guy in Fiji combined plastic bottles, a bit of Styrofoam, and some glue into a working boat…

Know of other plans, projects, and idea we missed? Share them with us in the comments…

Republished with permission from Sustainablog

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About the Author

is the founder and editor ofsustainablog. You can keep up with all of his writing at Facebook, and at



2 Responses to 13 Plastic Bottle Reuses (+ how NOT to reuse them)

  1. Great ideas! And I’m glad you pointed out how you shouldn’t re-use them. Thanks for sharing these ideas.

  2. Nice one. Great idea!!! We will be linking to this great post on our website. Keep up the great writing.

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