When one Redditor wanted to save money on lotion, he found a way to get every last drop out of the bottle: a method he calls “clam-shelling.”
Plastic pump bottles of lotion, soap, and shampoo are notorious for being hard to empty. The straw connected to the pump doesn’t always reach the bottom, and some of the product also gets stuck to the walls of the container or stays trapped in corners.
For people who are trying to save money and generate less trash, the unused product left in the bottle can be a major source of frustration. While tricks like leaving the bottle upside down help, the OP of this post found a faster and more effective way to use up everything.
The OP posted a photo of a large glass jar full to the brim with lotion with a rubber spatula resting on top. In the background are what remains of several large lotion bottles. Each one has been cut apart vertically along both sides using scissors, making it possible to open them fully. OP then used the spatula to scrape out the remaining lotion.
“13 ‘empty’ lotion bottles clam-shelled produced 36oz that would normally be tossed,” the OP says.
Since these are 20-ounce bottles, OP salvaged almost two full bottles’ worth of product, worth just under $15 according to his comments.
Not only is opening pump bottles a simple way to save on hygiene products, but it’s also a smart move in protecting the environment. According to Greenpeace’s page on single-use plastics, most items like plastic bottles end up in landfills or out in the environment. They don’t break down easily like natural materials, and even the ones that are marked as recyclable usually don’t get recycled.
While some researchers are hard at work developing better ways to process used plastic, this technology isn’t ready yet. This means that the best way to keep plastic waste out of the environment is to buy less of it — and efficiently using the packages we do buy will help with that.
Many commenters were excited to try clam-shelling their own packages.
“Your post was so satisfying!” says one. “I just cut open a bottle of lubriderm and it’s crazy how much was inside! Why do companies do this? It’s so wasteful. Now we all gotta play bottle surgery.”
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