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November 14, 2014 Comments Off on Transform Your Trash: Milk Jugs All Other Stories, Column, Transform Your Trash

Transform Your Trash: Milk Jugs

by Aditi Bhandari

RRR Scale:

Every week, I’ll be using an RRR scale – Reduce, Reuse, Recycle – that I created to estimate how environmentally friendly the project is, based on whether the materials used are recycled materials and how well the final project can be recycled.

Time taken: 2 hours

RRR Rating: (8/10 leaves)

Turn things that would go into your trash can into things you can use again!

In 2011, the Huffington Post reported that milk is the fourth most-consumed beverage in America, with the average person consuming approximately 20.4 gallons a year. Depending on whether you buy in gallon jugs, half gallon jugs or even single serving plastic bottles, that’s anywhere between 20 and 60 plastic cartons a year per person. These containers are made of high density polyethylene (HDPE) and can be recycled into things such as flower pots and pipes, though most find their way to landfills.

The good news is that many households are catching on to the concept of reusing these jugs rather than recycling them or throwing them out. Due to the durability and flexibility of the material, they can be repurposed in a variety of ways. We’re going to show you how to turn a plastic milk jug into a cute desk organizer in just 5 simple steps.

You will need:


  • An empty plastic milk jug
  • An Exacto knife
  • A ruler
  • Old magazines
  • Sellotape (or alternative adhesive)

 Step 1: Cut off the lower half of the empty milk jug with a ruler and an Exacto knife.

Step 2: Using the ruler and the Exacto knife, cut colorful pages of old magazines into strips of the same width.






Step 3: Stick the paper strips vertically on the inside of the jug and fold them over the lip.






Step 4: Weave the rest of the strips horizontally in a tapestry pattern and secure them on the bottom of the jug using tape or an alternative adhesive.






Step 5: Stick a strip of paper along the inside of the carton to make it look neater.



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