What do you do with prescription medication bottles? We cringe as we toss the plastic bottle into the trash to live forever in a landfill somewhere.
While recycling agencies are forbidden to pick up your old medicine bottles, the local Humane Society or animal shelter may be able to use them. Some veterinarians and animal care organizations use old prescription bottles for animal prescriptions. Your old containers are washed and de-labeled then refilled with heart-worm pills, vitamins and other meds for sick pets. If you can help out the animal-care community and keep your plastic out of the landfill, it is worth a phone call to check it out.
In an effort to find new uses for them I searched online and have compiled a lists of these tips below. Before reusing any empty prescription bottle in any way make sure you take off the labels, so no one has access to your personal information and then clean and sanitize the bottles thoroughly.
1. Store seeds inside the bottles and then label the bottles according to the seeds they hold. Seeds that need to be kept cold can easily be placed inside the fridge in these bottles.
2. Glue several bottles next to each other and use the glued collection on your desk as a storage system for all your tiny things: rubber bands, paper clips, hair pins, needles, nails, bolts, screws, matches, etc. Or just place some fresh flowers inside to brighten up your office.
3. If you need a coin holder to place in your purse or your car, place your loose change in the prescription bottles. No more looking everywhere for change especially if you need to pay the toll.
4. Use these bottles to store Barbie’s high heels, jewelry etc.
5. Donate your empty prescription bottles to your local vet or animal shelters. Some places will take prescription bottles and reuse them to fill prescriptions for the animals.
6. Some free clinics also take empty prescription bottles and reuse them. Ask if you can donate yours to the free clinic in your area.
7. Homeless shelters sometimes take empty prescription bottles. Call your local homeless shelter to find out if they do.
8. Makes a nice rattle/toy for cats (not babies). Put some dried beans inside and close it tight or glue it shut, then let them play.
9. If you like to paint decorative pieces and buy paint in large sizes to save money you can transfer some paint to these small containers to work on one or two projects at a time without using up all the paint or letting it dry up.
10. Here is an early valentine gift idea that involves reusing brown prescription bottles. Susan from Houston, TX fills hers up with chocolate kisses, relabels them “Rx for a Happy Valentine’s Day, lots of hugs and kisses!” and then gives them to the people she loves.
Caution: Putting candy in a prescription bottle can confuse a child. Please be careful about where you place these reused prescription bottles and your real ones. Children cannot tell the difference between one and the other.
11. Turn prescription bottles into saltshakers. Paint the bottles or leave as is. Poke or drill tiny holes in the caps then fill them with salt or pepper and use them as saltshakers.
12. If you pack salad for lunch, a prescription bottle is a perfect sized container to store some salad dressing.
13. You never know when your clothes will rip or you’ll lose a button. A mini sewing kit would come in handy in a case like this. Some prescription bottles are big enough to store some needles, thread and maybe a button or two.
14. A tiny emergency kit for a cut or scrape can fit in a prescription bottle: band-aids, cotton balls, q-tips and some tiny alcohol wipes.
15. Use to neatly store plastic bags in your purse in case you suddenly need a plastic bag, say during a car ride with someone that tends to get motion sickness.
16. As part of a quilting tip quilt designer Mark Lipinski suggest to store thread spools in prescription bottles to prevent it from tangling.
17. Make tiny maracas.
18. Store buttons, beads and other small craft items in these bottles.
19. Make a Snowman Christmas Ornament out of a prescription bottle.
20. If you live in Canada you can contact PHARM-ECOLOGICAL ON-LINE! They work with pharmacies to recycle plastics including prescription bottles.
Any other ideas? Drop us a note.