What Happened To All The Milk Bottles?


When I was growing up into the fine figure of a man I am today, I used to like opening the new bottle of milk and when it was finished, washing it out and leaving it on the doorstep. In fact I used to like to try and amaze the milkman by leaving as many empty bottles as possible on the doorstep. Whether he was amazed or not remains to be seen as I was never up at 5am to see.

Anyway, having moved away we no longer have a milkman. I would have thought a block of flats would be ideal as he’d be done for the day after a couple of blocks, but I suppose there’s not much money in the cow juice game these days.

So we’re lumbered with plastic milk bottles that aren’t reused. Or are they? They can be recycled (remember to take the tops off as they’re a different type of plastic and also means the empty bottles can be crushed more easily) but also used in the home. I’ve scoured the web to find some uses for them. Many are garden related but I’ve missed about the one about peeing into them and pouring on your compost heap…

  • Use the top part of drinks bottles as cloches for plants. (I had to look ‘cloches’ up. It means “1. A small glass or plastic cover for protecting young plants or 2. a woman’s close-fitting hat”. I take it they mean the first)
  • Fill empty milk cartons with water and use instead of dumbells.
  • Cut the tops off so you have a big pot fill full of soil and plants. Hang on the fence once the trailing plants have trailed and they look lovely dotted all over the fence.
  • Use them as watering cans for the hanging baskets.
  • Fill with water and freeze (remember to leave a gap at the top for the water to expand) and use as ice packs in your cool bag.
  • Those two litre milk containers make good scoops. Leave the handle on and cut the other side in a diagonal line, cutting off the ‘neck’ at the same time and use it for chips.
  • Cut the plastic milk bottles into strips and shape into labels for your plants using a permenant marker pen to write on them.
  • Can use the empty bottles to pour the leftover oil from cooking in so you can throw it away instead of pouring down the sink and the problems that causes with the drains.
  • Use a water-filled plastic milk bottle for the toilet cistern. This is the same as using a brick to reduce the amount of water used for each flush. It’s probably safer to get something like this, some water companies give them out for free, best to ask whichever you use.

4 thoughts on “What Happened To All The Milk Bottles?

  1. We can still get the local milk delivery to our house but only because we live semi rurally. It’s amazing how many people choose to buy the plastic bottles instead. One good thing is that they are recyclable by our local council. However, the milk man is a fast dying tradition sadly,


  2. It’s unfortunate more people don’t have the option of a milkman, I’d use one if I could!

    For some reason I used to think being a milkman would be a great job, maybe because I presumed you could go home at about 8 in the morning. Somehow I don’t think that’s quite true.


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