ByChrystal Johnson

Sep 9, 2015
Plastic milk jug jack-o-lanterns DIY

Millions of plastic milk jugs are thrown away each year. Most plastic milk containers are made from high-density polyethylene, also known as HDPE or No. 2 plastic. This means that milk jugs are recyclable, and most curbside recycling programs accept them.

Plastic milk jugs can be melted down and made into new bottles. However, no milk jugs in the United States are manufactured from recycled material. This sad fact is due to safety concerns over chemical and bacterial contamination as well as strict FDA guidelines for food packaging manufactured from secondhand sources.

When they’re reclaimed, plastic milk bottles are typically turned into recycling containers, pens, lumber, picnic tables, fencing, benches, detergent bottles, toothbrushes and children’s toys. But according to a report from the Environmental Protection Agency, only 28.9% of these plastic jugs end up in the recycling bin. The remaining 71.1% may spend 500 years or more decomposing in landfills.

We can’t let that happen! Recycling your milk jugs is a great option, but reusing them is an even better choice. There are so many creative ways to reuse plastic milk jugs in your daily life.

Check out the 20 creative ways to reuse plastic milk jugs:

Outdoor Chandelier From Recycled Milk Containers
Image courtesy of Urban Gardens.

Around the Home and Garden

Kids Crafts

Kids love upcycling crafts! There are so many different crafts kids can make with plastic milk jugs.

Plastic milk jugs reused as Halloween decorations
Image courtesy of Eighteen25.

Seasonal Crafts

The holidays are a great excuse to get crafty with plastic milk jugs. For Halloween, try making these Spirit Jugs. For the winter months, make some Milk Jug Snowflakes or Snowman Milk Jugs.


Put those old plastic milk jugs on display with a unique piece of jewelry. You’re sure to make a statement with these Milk Jug Earrings, Milk Jug Rings and Floral Necklaces.

Do you have any creative ways you reuse plastic milk jugs?

Feature image courtesy of Eighteen25

By Chrystal Johnson

Chrystal Johnson, publisher of Happy Mothering, founder of Green Moms Media and essential oil fanatic, is a mother of two sweet girls who believes in living a simple, natural lifestyle. A former corporate marketing communication manager, Chrystal spends her time researching green and eco-friendly alternatives to improve her family's life.