5 Product Packages That Can Be Re-Used to Reduce Waste

There are many pieces of packaging and items that people know require recycling, and you might already hire a skip bin to do so. Plastic bottles, aluminium cans, newspapers, jars and containers — the list goes on. But often the same things we recycle or dispose of can be repurposed, up-cycled, and re-used around the home. Below are 5 pieces of everyday product packaging that could come in handy and enjoy a new lease on life, saving you money and also helping to save the environment. How many of the following have you reused?

 Wine Bottles

As well as decorative vases, wine bottles have been used in lining garden paths. Simply dig them into the soil with the base exposed above the ground, or pour cement around them to secure them, adding a mosaic pattern in a garden path. An old wine bottle also makes the perfect container for homemade olive oils infused with lemon, herbs or chilli. Simply add a custom tag with string and you've got a homemade gift that's ready to go.

Milk Bottles and Cartons

Simply cut the base of a plastic milk bottle on a diagonal line, grab the handle and use it as a custom made scoop for potting mix or kitty litter. Also, pierce the base of a plastic or paper milk carton and plant them into garden beds around flower and herb patches. Then fill the carton with water and you have a slow and steady irrigation system to hydrate your hydrangeas. Milk cartons also work well as jumbo ice cubes to keep your Esky cool for longer.


Extra, extra! In case you didn't already know, newspaper works well as a glass cleaner and serves as the perfect base to start a fire, but there are many other uses for old newsprint worth considering. Line garden beds with newspaper before you add soil to act as a buffer for weeds, and keep it handy for wrapping gifts or breakables before storing them. Newspaper also works when wet to shine stainless steel. 

Egg Cartons

Ever wanted to grow seedlings by the windowsill? With just some seeds, soil and an old egg carton you can create an easily transportable micro herb garden. When herbs get big enough, there's no need to remove them from the carton. Simply cut out the individual cup and plant them in the ground — the paper material will eventually breakdown.

Egg cartons are also the perfect material for a craft-ernoon with kids. Stick or draw eyes on them to make the cup a face and piece their base to attach wire or pipe cleaner antennas. Egg cartons also work well as a makeshift paint palette, perfect for mixing and separating different colours.

Jam Jars and Glass Containers

Perfect for tea light candles and storing foods, jams and other condiments always consider reusing glass jars before disposing, which are also extremely useful from an organisational and storage perspective. Whether in the workshop or shed, home office or pantry, they are perfect for displaying odds and ends including pencils, crayons, pins, buttons, screws as well as bolts and other hardware. When arranged creatively, a row of glass jars filled with interesting and colourful items can also add a touch of style to the home. Jars also serve well as drinking tumblers and small vases. 

Before you recycle, consider reusing the packaging. Especially before undergoing a spring clean, as these examples show, often the ability to repurpose old products and packaging is limited only by the imagination.