Milk bottle planters

I go through 3 litres of milk a week. While the plastic containers are (supposedly) recyclable, it still irks me to see them in the recycling bin. Being a Grade A Cynic, I doubt that much of what I put in the bin actually gets recycled.

In a permaculture system, each element should perform more than one function. So the bottles have already functioned to deliver milk to the system. What else can they do?

I’ve cut the tops out of them to use as dippers in my 60 litre rainwater harvesting bins which sit beside the rows of wicking boxes :


How about growing plants in them? Cut away the top and part of the side, leaving the handle intact. Drill a couple of drainage holes about one-third of the way up from the bottom (so it becomes a wicking container) and fill with compost :


Add a seedling lettuce and voilà :


Hanging on the side of the deck…..rabbits and possums, eat your hearts out! You won’t get them there!

Of course, I don’t expect them to last very long. The plastic will degrade in the sun and they’ll crash to the ground and those pesky milk bottles will end up in the bin eventually, but oh well, it’s a bit of fun, a few extra lettuce leaves won’t go astray and a permaculture principle has been satisfied.

12 Responses to “Milk bottle planters”

  1. rabidlittlehippy Says:

    VERY clever! A cheap way to get a garden started too as a bag of potting mix will fill a goodly few containers I’d think. 🙂

    Filled with flowers too like nasturtiums and allysum it would cover (and protect) the bottles and provide a wall of flowers for beauty, a little shade for the house and a bee garden!


  2. rabidlittlehippy Says:

    Reblogged this on Rabid Little Hippy and commented:
    A clever upcycle on a budget and with infinite possibilities! 😀


  3. narf77 Says:

    Excellent share Bev. Just pinned you :).


    • foodnstuff Says:

      Thanks for the pin, Fran. I am really into this Pinterest thing now. Not pinning myself, but looking at others. So many great ideas out there. I’m rapt!

      Liked by 1 person

      • narf77 Says:

        Glad you like it. People think it’s just food and pictures but what it is, is a way to see if you might be interested in something and go and have a peek. I have found an enormously HUGE amount of excellent information (as well as a massive pile of crap 😉 ) on Pinterest. You have to wade through some garbage but for magpies, who like to find new things out, like us, it’s a really good way to pick, choose and test things out. I love Pinterest. I spend a reasonable amount of time there and get free crochet patterns, information about all kinds of self sufficiency info and so much more, it is mind boggling. I am storing it all away like a hoarding squirrel in autumn ;).


  4. Chris Says:

    I love the lettuce off the deck. Very creative and very useful:)

    You can also turn them into scoops for chicken feed, or cut the top off and use as a funnel for jam making. I have a cool link for some pretty amazing plastic bottle upcycles too:


  5. yogaguerillagrrl Says:

    Looks Great. I avoid plastic and buy the organic milk in paper cartons but they still make good temporary planters.


  6. kayepea Says:

    Thanks Bev for an interesting read as always. And thanks to Chris as well – never thought of a funnel for jam making, just what I’m looking for after ruining many of my plastic measuring cups to hot jam!


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