Sure, you can recycle the prescription bottles that quickly pile up, especially when disabled or elderly folks are in the house. Which basically means we have about 5 million new bottles every month.

OK, maybe that’s an exaggeration, but not by much. It’s definitely well over a dozen. Maybe over two dozen. Yes, every month.

As the saying goes, reduce -> reuse -> recycle.

To reduce, we try to get as many prescriptions as possible in 90 day increments. More often than not, this both reduces the cost, as well as the number of new plastics coming into the house.

We could always recycle them, and we still do that quite a bit. My preferred method however, is to reuse things as much as possible before recycling or throwing out.

So how do I personally reuse prescription bottles?

This large size is absolutely perfect to hold America’s favorite cookie. They are well protected and fit perfectly. They don’t get squished, or broken, but they do get eaten. Because they’re in this little bottle, my brain is quite comfortable believing this is a single serving instead of the whole package. Which also helps with a slightly different definition of reduce.

Or you can put single servings of wet foods such as soups or stews into these to freeze and then into a vacuum sealed bag for longer-term storage.

It is extremely important that you DO NOT use these bottles in the MICROWAVE. They are most definitely not up to the heat generated by reheating food.

I let them thaw in the refrigerator during the workday, and then dump into a paper bowl to microwave for lunch.

These are also great for single serve salsas, which can be done exactly the same way, without the microwaving, of course.

And then there’s the medium and small bottles. I find that these are the perfect size for various snacks. Or as shown in the picture, oatmeal.

Yes I’m weird, I eat the oatmeal dry. This actually does a couple of things for me. First and foremost, it soaks up any of the excess acid in my stomach from taking all of the morning medicines when I don’t have time for a real breakfast. For another, I get to skip the joys of eating slime or glop or goo, depending on how well I didn’t do with the ratio of oatmeal to water that day.

These handy bottles are also perfect for keeping change, or holding the loose cotton or desiccants that come in supplements and over-the-counter medications so that I can reuse them later in a crafting project.

They’re also the perfect size for measuring things such as canned dog food. This means I can buy the larger, cheaper cans and divide them into small-dog-friendly servings.

They are also great for pre-measured recipe ingredients to stick in the refrigerator — but only for a day or two because they’re definitely not airtight. Then it’s very easy to grab and dump them into the pot, and cook for a quick and delicious freshly prepared meal.

Of course, it’s very important to wash them before reuse to remove any medication residue, and clean before recycling. Turns out even a smidgen of food or medication can ruin a 2-ton pallet of plastic, and make it garbage instead of reusable.

Hope these ideas help you to reduce -> reuse -> recycle!

What do you do with old medication bottles?