As a committed advocate of sustainable living, I am always looking for ways to minimize waste and maximize utility. Lately, I’ve found that polycarbonate plastic water bottles, despite their controversial reputation, have an abundance of potential second lives waiting to be discovered.

Polycarbonate bottles have come under scrutiny because of their Bisphenol-A (BPA) content, which may seep into the water and cause health complications.

While replacing these bottles is an excellent preventive measure, what can be done about the numerous old bottles with the #7 label that we’ve accumulated?

Let’s explore some inventive ways to reuse them without adding to the landfill problem.

white plastic bottle lot

Repurpose As Weights

  • As a Paperweight or Doorstop: Filling these bottles with water or sand can convert them into functional doorstops for your home or office. Not to mention, they also make unique outdoorsy-looking paperweights!
  • Training Deadweight: Are you training for a backpacking trip or mountaineering expedition? Consider filling up an empty bottle with sand or water. You’ve got a makeshift training weight ready!

Camping Companions

  • Relief Bottles: A must-have for winter camping or mountaineering, a repurposed bottle can serve as a convenient relief container during the night. Just ensure it’s marked clearly to avoid any unpleasant accidents!
  • First Aid Kit: Keep your small first aid supplies like band-aids, medical pads, CPR shields, medical tape, iodine pads, and small tubes of creams dry by storing them in a wide-mouth water bottle.
  • DIY Lantern: How about a fun camping light? Turn on a headlamp or a small flashlight, place it inside an empty bottle, and voila! You have a DIY lantern. You can even create a makeshift campfire with multiple multi-colored bottles. Commercial alternatives like the solar-powered Lightcap200 from Sollight are also available.

For Climbing and Water Sports

  • Chalk Powder Storage: Rock climbers can use these bottles to store extra chalk powder to combat sweaty hands during climbs.
  • Dry Storage Container: Kayakers, canoeists, and rafters can repurpose their old water bottles into dry storage containers to safeguard items such as small notebooks, pens, maps, film canisters, digital camera memory cards, and cell phones.
  • Anchors: Fill a couple of bottles with sand or quick-drying concrete, connect them with a carabiner, and you have an efficient anchor for your canoe or raft.

Handy Household Helpers

  • Change Storage: Tired of loose change scattered around? An old bottle can become an organized coin bank.
  • Workshop Storage: In a home workshop, these bottles can hold small items like nuts, bolts, or even bike parts.

In conclusion, there’s a multitude of ways to breathe new life into old polycarbonate water bottles. Remember, when it comes to sustainable living, every little bit helps! So next time you consider discarding an old bottle, think again—you might be throwing away an innovative solution.