3 empty milk jugs for decoration and feeding birds

How to Recycle an Empty Milk Jug?

If you drink or use a lot of milk, then you no doubt have a small collection of milk jugs building up. The bottle, while useful, can be hard to get rid of en masse. They take up lots of space in your bin and need to be cleaned before you can even dispose of them. However, recycling is comfortably the best choice for getting rid of old milk containers. That being said, have you ever thought about how you can recycle a milk jug?

Sure, you could drop it in with the rest of your goods to be recycled. But you could also find that recycling empty milk jugs can be done at home. You could even use these jugs for useful purposes around the house. Don’t believe us? Here are some useful ways that you could start recycling your milk jugs and getting more use out of these plastic containers.

three empty milk jugs

Simple Ways to Recycle an Empty Milk Jug

Here are some ways and ideas in recycling an empty milk bottle.

Create Storage for Other Items

Give your milk jug a thorough clean-out, and then you could start using it as a form of storage. For example, you could start filling it with salt and peppers, and even cleaning produce. Give the bottle a thorough and fully clean, and remove the lid.

Once the lid is off, put some form of the funnel on the top. Then start pouring in anything you want to store here. Again, you could use it for everything from salt to cleaning agents to rice and other foods. Put the lid back on top, secure it tightly, and then open it up as you require what is inside.

Create a Plastic Scoop

If you don’t mind doing a bit of cutting, then you can turn your milk carton into an easy-to-use scoop device. The fact it has a deep design and a lid on the top means that nothing will start pouring out the top of your scoop.

Take a knife to the bottom half of your milk jug and cut it at an angle to create a kind of triangular shape. Make sure you get any rough parts on the scoop dealt with; you could sand it down or keep cutting until it is a smooth finish. 

This can be used for everything from scooping cat litter and dog food to messes on the floor. The sturdy nature of the lid and the fact that milk jugs have a handle means this works as a great DIY scoop.

Create a DIY Watering Can

a man watering his plants

Have you ever noticed how needlessly expensive watering cans are? Well, now you can build your own out of an old milk jug!

To do this, all you need to do is clean out the recipient, ensuring that you have removed all traces of milk with a thorough washing. Once you do that, take a large needle and start poking several holes in the lid of the milk container. This has just created a DIY watering can.

You need to unscrew the lid, fill the old jug with water, and re-attach the lid. This will help you to start giving your plants watering without having to go out and buy an actual watering can. 

Create a Greenhouse-style Cover

Another way to recycle and a useful solution for your milk jug outside the house is to start using it to protect your seedlings as they grow. You will need to cut the bottom of the bottle off so that it can lie over the top of a seedling. You might even get a better solution if you leave a zigzag cut at the bottom so air can flow underneath.

Then push this down into the soil. So, it sticks in the ground but does not dig into the actual seedling itself. Now, you can start giving your seedlings extra protection during colder weather. 

Create a Piggy Bank

Another comical but effective way to use your milk jugs is to start making some piggy banks. First, give this a thorough clean – nobody wants their money to come out smelling like old milk! Once it has been cleaned and left to dry, you must create a slit for the money.

To do that, take a knife and cut a coin-sized hole in the jug’s lid. Tighten the top to the point where you cannot unscrew it (to remove temptation). Place the milk carton on its side. Add a bit of artistic design to the outside if you want, too. It creates a very interesting piggy bank. It is large enough to store plenty of coins.

Create Seasonal Décor

With a bit of cleaning beforehand, you could easily turn these plastic milk jugs into an adorable piece of seasonal decoration. This is easy to do. You need to think about how creative you could be. The best one this works for is Halloween.

Why? Because the already white design makes it great for looking like a little ghost face. You need to clean out the milk bottles. Add some LED lights inside to create that lantern feel. Then, draw some spooky faces on the outside. You could also do the same for Christmas, drawing some snowman and Santa-style faces onto the bottle.

Final Words

Either way, the above should give you some great ideas for using milk jugs in ways you had not previously considered. These plastic jugs previously used to take up a large portion of your recycling bin – now, with a bit of creative charm. You can turn them into something worthwhile. From something you use around the house to some creative free décor, this is a wonderful way to make your home feel more welcoming overall. Get creative and change your use of your milk jugs. Get more out of the goods you have already bought! 

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