Uses for Empty Plastic Bottles

Updated February 21, 2017

Reducing waste is important for the health of the planet. While recycling empty plastic bottles is one way to reduce waste, you can also repurpose them into something new. Not only is fashioning plastic bottles into something new good for the environment, but it is also a resourceful way to save money, as these new items can be beneficial for use around your home or serve as craft-making activities to keep your children occupied.

Ice Cubes

Instead of filling your cooler with ice cubes that can melt and destroy the food that you are storing in it, fill it with plastic bottle ice cubes. Clean out any type of empty plastic bottle, fill it with water and place it in your freezer. When the water inside the bottle is frozen, place the bottle into your cooler and fill the cooler with food and drink. The ice will keep your perishables cold, and yet as it melts, the water will be contained inside the water bottle, keeping your goods safe from damage. An added bonus: when the water inside the bottle melts, you'll have ice-cold refreshments to drink.

Discovery Bottle

Use empty plastic bottles to create educational discovery bottles for your kids. Fill empty bottles with various materials, and your children can manipulate the contents of the bottles to explore different scientific properties and other educational concepts. Fill a bottle with water, vegetable oil and food colouring so your kids can explore how water and oil don't mix. Allow your children to explore buoyancy by filling a bottle with water and objects that will sink and float in the water, such as pennies, paper clips and foam pieces; when children shake the bottles, they can observe as some items sink to the bottom and others float at the top.

Chew Toy

Turn an empty plastic bottle into a chew toy for your dog. Remove the cap from the bottle. Cut a piece of durable fabric that can be wrapped around the empty bottle---canvas is a sturdy option. Sew the fabric around the bottle with thick thread or dental floss (which is very strong). Your dog will enjoy chewing on his new toy and hearing the crunching sounds that it makes. Be sure to observe as he chews to ensure he doesn't remove the bottle from the fabric; if it becomes damaged, replace it with a new one.


Illuminate your front walkway with luminaries made from empty plastic milk containers. Clean out an empty milk container, cut off its top and decorate it with paint, markers, stencils and anything else you'd like. Line the bottom of the container with sand and place a tea light or battery-operated candle inside of it. Make several plastic bottle luminaries to light up your front walkway or garden at night.

Cite this Article A tool to create a citation to reference this article Cite this Article

About the Author

Lily Mae began freelance writing in 2008. She is a certified elementary and literacy educator who has been working in education since 2003. Mae is also an avid gardener, decorator and craft maker. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in education and a Master of Science in literacy education from Long Island University.