How can I reuse or recycle the plastic spoons that come with children’s medicines/cough syrup?

Tabitha has asked:

How can I recycle the plastic spoons you get in children’s medicine bottles? Thanks ;oD

A great question! I can’t take tablets so have to take liquid medicine instead – and as a result, I end up with lots of these little suckers. There is no way to reject them really – they’re tucked inside the box and I suspect if you did ask the pharmacist to remove it, they would just go in their bin instead.

While they’ve got a full teaspoon size head, they only have a tiny (2cm/inch) long handle (or a smaller spoon in lieu of a handle, like the one in the picture) so can’t really be used as general plastic spoons for picnics or what-have-you. They would be useful as a measuring spoon in the kitchen – since they typically have 2.5ml and 5ml (half a teaspoon/full teaspoon) level markings on them to ensure correct dosage – but that’ll only going to use one or two of them maximum.

I’m going to contact the companies behind the medicines I use most often to see if they have any recycling advice but most generic plastic cutlery is made from Polystyrene (plastic number 6), which is not usually recycled, so chances are we won’t be able to fling these little spoons into our plastic recycling bin any time soon.

Any suggestions for reuses?

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8 Responses to “How can I reuse or recycle the plastic spoons that come with children’s medicines/cough syrup?”


  1. mutasem says:

    like you said, use it as a tablespoon. great idea !

  2. anna says:

    You can always add a few of those spoons for your picnic kit. That way you don’t have to buy disposables if you have something delicious to share.
    Another use could be for something where you don’t want to use your food measuring tools, e.g. for scooping pet food or using it for gardening purposes.

  3. Cappenz says:

    Here’s a surprisingly beautiful lamp from the Upcycle Us blog.
    http://upcycleus.blogspot.com/2011/01/lamp-made-of-plastic-spoon.html

  4. Melinda says:

    There are some containers in which I appreciate having a dedicated spoon that just stays in the container, as these look small enough to do. Coffee, baking powder, salt, items that seem to always be measured by the spoonful. I imagine that dedicated spoons would be good for powdered tempera paints, too.

    I haven’t tried it, but I don’t see why one couldn’t use them to make a wreath- appropriate for a doctor’s office, perhaps.

  5. I sort of wish children’s medicines in the U.S. still came with spoon-type measuring devices! They’ve all gone to oral syringes, which are harder to fill without making a mess.

    In any case, tea- or tablespoon sized spoons are a great size for altered jewelry brooch or pendant bases. They might also be good for resin bezels, if the resin sticks and doesn’t melt the plastic (depends on the plastic type).

  6. wong wear says:

    I often need measuring spoons for gardening “powders” such as water retention crystals and for measuring amount of seaweed liquid to add to the watering can.

  7. Chloe says:

    Hmmm tough one, Im trying to find ideas to what to do with those little suckers! I have dessert spoons that are collecting dust Although it may sound childish this suggestion is fun. Make the spoons into people, let the child in you have fun :) I’m 11 and I still have fun making little people tomess around with :) email me for more suggestions sporechick@hotmail.com

  8. Tsvety says:

    You can make a frame for a mirror or something else http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xNxla9Ghg7w



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