Saturday, May 03, 2008

Hard As Nails: Reuse BPA Plastic Bottles

Plastics with BPA are tough. They're shatterproof and can withstand a lot of torment.

In the 1970s, my dad worked at stoplight manufacturer Eagle Signal. One of the salesmen there, before an appointment to sell the expensive new Lexan lenses, would place four lenses on the ground and then park his car with one tire atop each lens. It was a strong sales pitch for strength and durability.

So, as we're all clearing the BPA plastics out of our kitchens, let's not relegate this near-permanent stuff to clog the landfills before giving it a second thought.

How can we repurpose this effectively non-recyclable material to give a longer useful life without putting anyone's endocrine system in harm's way?

Here at Baby Toolkit Labs we have lots of screws loose... wait, loose scews.. and nails, and washers, and such. My dad stores all his loose fasteners in an army of glass baby food jars which he wraps with clear tape to minimize cleanup in case of breakage.

It wasn't a big leap to see those Soothies, Dr. Brown's, and Avent bottles full of small metal bits and bobs. The bottles are easy to throw in a toolkit and keep the parts in a single, easily accessed container during the job.

How else can we reuse these plastics?

We set up a BPA reuse Flickr pool (, so please post photos of your own solutions.


JessTrev said...

This *rocks* - I am so glad you are posting about this! I have mine all stashed in my closet cause I couldn't bear to add them to the landfill (been reading too much Fake Plastic Fish). Anyways, a couple uses so far: play kitchen and sandbox.

Mimi-n-Moe's Mom said...

sandbox! that is genius. they will last forever and never break down!

Anonymous said...

It's waterproof, so why not make an emergency first aid kit for your car?

Rob Monroe said...

Matt is right about the emergency kit. That's one of the things we are planning to use our Nalgene bottles for. (Bigger than baby bottles)

I hadn't thought of nails, thanks!

And I'm hopping over to your flickr group right now. I've been trying to figure out something productive to do with them for weeks!

Cara said...

what a great idea, I hate the thought of just throwing all those bottle out. I am going to also use them for small craft objects.

AJ said...

That's outrageous! You shouldn't be feeding a baby nails, screws and washers. If you don't puncture the esophagus, you'll at least poke an eye out.

Sara said...

this is such a great idea!

Dana said...

I've been doing junior chemistry experiements with them- they are the perfect beaker for mixing colors, checking temperatures, making concoctions of all sorts. You can use the graduations, put on the lid for shaking and see inside! I am now thinking of things for crafts- like mixing pant, sorting buttons, stickers and such... and how about specimen jars for non-living things- like pond water, rocks, leaves and other nature hike finds... the possibilites are endless. I'm blogging about my ideas at and

Anonymous said...

Seeing these bottles full of metal makes me really grateful that I didn't use the bottles with my son. We had a set, but he used them less than a dozen times his whole life, and they were never heated. PHEW.