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Repurposing Plastic Containers

Here are many ways of repurposing plastic containers in the kitchen, using them in the garden, and in the classroom for teaching purposes. Reusing containers are free and helps the environment by reusing them over and over again in useful ways, see what we use them for and try it in your home!

repurposing plastic containers

I am always trying to reuse what we would normally throw away. Less in the landfills and less money I have to shell out if I can reuse something instead of purchasing a new container for uses in the garden, playroom, and kitchen…..it’s a win win!! Here are some uses I have for repurposing plastic containers, and one for a spaghetti jar too.  😉 (originally published 1/15)

Repurposing plastic containers

  • Free reusable containers – If there’s a good lid on it like the parmesan and yogurt (even the cream cheese), it can be easily cleaned out and save yourself the $$ from buying new tupperware!
    • Saves money
    • You don’t feel guilty throwing them away if they get too gross or you’re out and about and don’t want to carry it back with you
    • You’ll get a variety of sizes to use
how to reuse plastic containers
  • Using small plastic containers for snacks for the kids is a great repurposing idea – Fill them up with a mix of dried fruit, nuts, cereal, or whatever they like and throw it in your purse or diaper bag. When they are done you won’t feel guilty about throwing it away because you would’ve initially thrown it away anyway and you got an extra use out of it.
  • Flat containers like this one are great for toting around crayons to bring to restaurants to keep kids busy at restaurants. They snap shut and are see thru, even big enough to throw one of those little spiral ringed notebooks and you have a “busy box”!!
repurposing plastic containers
  • These two are great if you are planting something – Whether it be a small plant that needs to be tended to alone before it gets bigger or just seeds you are planting, these are great to get them started.
    • Small enough but shallow
    • The spaghetti jar is good to grow something when you are teaching about the root system because you can see the roots right thru the jar as it grows!!
    • Here are some other gardening activities for kids
repurposing plastic containers
  • Ok, call me cheap but I have a hard time justifying the cost of cream cheese at at least $1 more per container just because it is in plastic.
  • When I can buy that one once, wash it out in the dishwasher and refill it with the container that is the same size. Every dollar counts in my opinion. These containers are great snack containers too!
repurposing
  • You know all those pesky packets we use….well using a shallow plastic container can contain them all and organize your shelves. I did this a while ago when I had this container but couldn’t find the lid.
  • No sense in throwing away a perfectly good container……found a use for it and I’ve had this one for years holding my pouches that would normally clutter my shelves.
repurpose in kitchen

We have made a DIY lunchbox too just for fun.

  • The best way I have found to repurpose is when we are saving money on our refill coffee “thing” for the Keurig!! My husband was trying to refill this every morning by pouring ground coffee out of the bag into this little refill container and of course it was messy……all on the inside of the sink!! My job=create an easier, cleaner way while still saving money using the refill container for our Keurig.
    • Just rinse out an empty creamer container, dry, and pour grounds in. Put top back on and it is a perfect container to refill!!
repurposing plastic containers

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Natalia

Thursday 8th of October 2020

Amazing tips! Thank you. I am a young girl barely living on my own so I’m trying to save money and use things efficiently!

Lori

Thursday 22nd of February 2018

Deborah Biddle is correct when she writes plastic packaging is not meant for long term use. That's why I only use my yogurt containers up to a week after the original USE BY date for food and snacks. After that, I use them for non consumables. Prior to the original USE BY date, I like to use them for portable salad containers. That way, if I don't feel like bringing the empty container back home with me, I don't feel so bad about leaving it behind. After the use by date, they make great containers for my wet bathing suit after swimming at the gym. Of course, there are lots of other non-food uses them. But, again, don't rely on these containers for more than a week after their original USE BY date. -PEACE-

Pam

Tuesday 12th of December 2017

I keep a garbage bag full of all size plastic containers with lids. When we have family get togethers, I can send leftovers home with people and not have to worry about getting my containers back.

Deborah Biddle

Sunday 3rd of January 2016

Caution about reusing plastic containers. The plastic containers manufacturers use are meant to be very short term....the date on the package is about the contents as well as the container itself. Those containers begin leaching into the food shortly after the "use by" date. Tupperware is a quality plastic product, made of different (higher quality) plastic than the typical off the shelf plastic container; Tupperware is meant to be used for a long time, safely. I like to buy glass containers for my leftovers and other long term food uses--it is safer, overall...Debby

Ritu

Friday 28th of August 2020

I am from India and I do ditto same uses of plastic containers as you do. I never throw them and try to use them in best possible ways. Whatever poeple around me may call me i consider myself an eco warrior! 3 cheers to us!!!

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