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Homeowner demonstrates ‘perfect’ hack to give your empty medication bottles new life: ‘I knew I was saving all of mine for a reason’

“It works.”

"It works."

Photo Credit: TikTok

Earth is swimming in plastic, so anything we can do to reduce our consumption of single-use plastics or upcycle the material that would otherwise head to a landfill is helpful.

One TikToker showed their solution to an overload of plastic pill bottles.

🗣️ When you think about a product’s packaging, which of these factors is more important to you?

🔘 The way it looks 😍

🔘 The information it provides 🧐

🔘 The waste it produces 🗑️

🔘 I don’t think about packaging at all 🤷

🗳️ Click your choice to see results and speak your mind

The scoop

In a TikTok from a year ago, Maria (@livingplanetfriendly) said they could not recycle the bottles. Instead, they found a way to reuse them.

@livingplanetfriendly Starting to plan for my 2023 Garden 🥹 Also collecting more pill bottles from family this weekend to hopefully fill the box! Patiently waiting for when I can start seeds! #Eco #Ecofriendly #LowWaste #ZeroWaste #Sustainability #Sustainable #Upcycle #PillBottle #PillBottles #Recycle #Garden #GardenTok #SeedOrganizer #GardenSeeds #SeedStorage #Gardening #loofah #luffa ♬ Chamber of Reflection (Live Cover) – Your Anxiety Buddy

“I’m going to save myself some money and turn the bottles into a seed organizer instead of buying one new,” they said. “… It’s not aesthetically pleasing, but it works.”

In the comments, Maria and another user said the bottles could be painted.

Another TikToker said the hack was “perfect.”

Someone else was hyped: “I knew I was saving all of mine for a reason!!!!!!! YEEESSSSSSS! I love this!!!”

The project took 15 minutes and saved the bottles (and a reused box) from a landfill — and “I also didn’t have to spend $30 on a fancy seedbox,” Maria said.

“Also collecting more pill bottles from family this weekend to hopefully fill the box,” Maria wrote. “Patiently waiting for when I can start seeds!”

How it’s helping

National Geographic reported in 2019 that half of all plastics ever made had been produced in the previous 15 years.

Plastic is made from dirty energy sources such as oil, gas, and coal. The additives that make them durable also keep them from breaking down for hundreds of years.

Plastic consumption is expected to triple in the next 30 years, according to Earth Day, and even though Big Oil touts recycling as a solution, it is not. Only 9% of plastics are recycled globally, and that figure is just 5% in the United States.

Many of the plastics sorted for recycling end up in our waterways, which lead to the oceans.

One solution to the problem is to reuse or upcycle plastic. There are probably thousands of ways pill bottles can be reappointed.

Another TikToker said they make “the best small ice packs,” while companies such as Cabinet are forging paths away from single-use plastics. One woman even found a charity that takes them and reuses them in shipments of medical supplies. 

What everyone’s saying

Users noted that they loved this hack, and some pointed out what they do with their old pill bottles. A few commenters said they could be used to sort and store coins and flat batteries.

“I clean them and take them to Bulk Barn and fill them with spices,” one TikToker wrote.

Someone else, echoing many others, said, “You can donate old medicine bottles to animal shelters.”

“So real for this, love love love,” another user commented. “Something tangible for someone struggling.”

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