Over the years different illnesses and medical conditions in our home have left us with a cupboard full of empty UNRECYCLABLE prescription bottles. As you may know from past posts like this one: (My Top Ten Repurposed Household Containers) and this one: (Repurposing Laundry Detergent Containers Into Useful Objects) I really HATE throwing things like that away.
Since our recycling center doesn’t accept this kind of plastic and our pharmacy doesn’t recycle or reuse them either, I decided to do some research and figure out ways I could repurpose them into other useful objects.
I’ve compiled a list for you (and me) below:
Important note: Before reusing any empty prescription bottle, take off the labels, so no one has access to your personal information, then clean and sanitize the bottles thoroughly.
Mini Survival Kit
Keep matches and other necessities dry while you brave the wild: camping, boating, or just for a day at the beach.
Mini “Car Kit”
These bottles fit perfectly inside your car’s glove compartment or door cubby, and they’re great for storing change or small amounts of cash for garage parking, toll fare, or the Laundromat.
Mini First Aid Kit
Keep an emergency first-aid kit in your handbag or the glove box of your car “just in case.” Include things like band-Aids, Q-tips, alcohol swabs, packets of antibiotic ointment, etc. For more items you may want to consider adding to your kit check out this emergency essentials list.
Ear Buds Holder
Prescription bottles work great for small cords and ear buds. Easier to find them in your purse too!
I don’t know about you, but I find myself flossing in the car more than any other place! Thanks to these little individual flossers. This is the perfect little holder for them
My son Kell has had Type 1 Diabetes since he was 2 years old and so we have ALWAYS made sure to have some emergency snacks on hand in case of low blood sugars. These bottles make a handy little storage container for just enough Skittles or M & M’s to bring his blood sugar back up to a normal range.
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 can’t tell the difference between one and the other.
Mini “Sharps” Container
Store used lancets, blood test strips, until they can be disposed of. They are much cheaper than the sharps containers sold at the drug counters; are more compact; easier to store; and easier to dispose of.
NON-Prescription Pill Bottles
Sometimes I buy pain relief, vitamins, etc. in those big bottles from Costco, so I like to fill up a couple empty prescription bottles of these things to keep in a couple of locations. I also keep one in my toiletry bag I take on trips.
Miniature Portable Sewing Kit
Prescription bottles are just the right size and shape for a sewing needle, a small spool or two, a few straight pins, and a few plain buttons. Have one in the car, purse or office drawer. If a button comes loose or a hem unravels the kit is handy and the pins are tucked safely inside where no one can get pricked when not in use.
Collect the seeds at the end of the growing season and store them neatly in small pill bottles. Come spring, you’ll be all ready to get your new garden started.
Make Mini Ice Packs
Just fill them with water and freeze. These are perfect for packed lunches.
Placing a small bell inside makes a great little play toy. The bottle rolls around and is light enough not to cause harm to the kitten, cat or furniture it might be rolled into.
Drill a quarter inch hole in the cap, fill with toothpicks, and keep in your purse or car.
Line old prescription bottles with inexpensive baggies and use them for condiment containers for bagged lunches. Lined, they’re great for mayo, granola for yogurt, salad dressings, croutons for soup/salad, etc.
Drawer & Closet Sachets
Drill holes in the bottom and the top of the pill bottles. Add a slice or two of scented soap. Put the cap on and place in a drawer to keep clothes smelling fresh without risking stains on your clothes.
If you wear perfume and don’t want to bring the whole bottle with you in your purse but like to freshen up at midday, try this: soak a cotton ball or two with your favorite cologne or perfume, place them inside a small bottle and close with the cap. By midday the cotton ball will still be wet and can be dabbed to the areas you spritz with perfume.
Check with your local free clinic or veterinarian’s office to see if they accept used prescription bottles. Some of them will reuse them for filling prescriptions. So, call around in your area to see if vets will take your bottles, or if any free clinics need them.
Similar programs exist for third-world nations… your empties could help with medical aid.
Well, I better get busy! I’ve got a lot of bottles wasting space and gathering dust in my kitchen cupboards.
Do you have any other ideas for reusing empty pill bottles?