The Last Thing You Should Do with a Single-Use Plastic Bottle Before You Recycle It

published Apr 15, 2021
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Someone holding empty plastic water bottle.
Credit: Sarah Crowley

Even if you opt for reusable water bottles, you’ll still probably find that a few single-use plastic bottles manage to make their way into your life. And I bet you’ll be a little less unhappy about it … once you realize what you can make with them! 

From single-serving water bottles to two-liter soda bottles and even gallon milk jugs, plastic bottles don’t need to be tossed straight into recycling. Instead, you can cut them into a clever and eminently useful shape to make scoopers. 

Credit: Sarah Crowley

Cut Plastic Bottles into Useful Scoopers

To transform your would-be trash into a scoop you’ll be thrilled to use, you’ll just need a marker and an X-Acto knife or box cutter or sharp scissors. Put the lid on your bottle (you’ll need to keep this because, without it, what you scoop will fall through the hole), stand your bottle up and draw a bell curve shape on the upper third or the half of the bottle that’s facing you. With your knife or scissors, cut along this line and around the back of the bottle as well. 

Credit: Sarah Crowley

Depending on the size of your bottle, your new scooper can be used for so many things. Smaller bottles, like single-serving water bottles, would be great in a container of flour or brown sugar. To make these scoopers even more useful, measure a half-cup (or whatever measurement is useful), place this amount in the scooper, and mark the top of it with a line. This way, your scooper becomes a measuring cup that lives inside the container. Not only is it convenient, but you also won’t need to wash it every time you use it since it stays put. 

Larger scoops are great for moving soil from the bag into your pots, or you can punch holes in the flat side and use the scooper for sifting kitty litter. You can also use these larger scoops to refill pet food containers from larger storage containers. 

When your DIY scooper starts to get gross, toss it and make a new one. Once you start making these scoopers, you’ll be looking for plastic bottles to cut.

What will you use your scoopers for?