How can I reuse or recycle plastic cups?

Plastic cupsA suggestion from Franto:

My office has a water cooler with a supply of plastic cups. I don’t go anywhere near it and fill my glass from the tap but my work colleagues seem to use a new cup for each sip of water they take, the bin is always over following with the damn things. I want to rescue them but don’t know what to do with them.

These people seem to collect plastic cups from workplaces in bulk so that might be an idea – but has anyone got any reuse suggestions?

(photo by reemreem)

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36 Responses to “How can I reuse or recycle plastic cups?”


  1. Joe says:

    You could grow seedlings in them before planting them out in your garden/allotment.

  2. dan b says:

    You could get this phonograph kit and make recordings on them:
    http://verycoolthings.com/vct/Neo_getpage.cgi?page=itemtoy&itemID=13463&cool=

  3. bissy says:

    you could donate a personal glass to your colleagues so they won’t throw cups away any more!

  4. Kay says:

    I work for a company which re-uses the .25cups for mixing chemicals after using for the water from our cooler. However at the moment, after sourcing a new cooler with smaller .2cups we have a need for the larger cups to allow for the mixing so would like to find a company in order to obtain and re-use theirs and in turn help the environment,can anyone help? Kay.

    • Shelby says:

      Hi Kay
      We use a vending machine in our office, and probably get through about 200 cups a week.
      Do you still require plastic cups for your work?
      Would they need to be washed out first?
      Where abouts are you based? We are in Leicester, but also have offices in Sussex and Leeds.
      Cheers
      Shelby

    • Anne says:

      I have been washing all of our fast food cups in the dishwasher in hopes of finding a use for them.

    • vishnu says:

      we have used plastic cups per day we can sypply 1000+ cups will u buy

  5. Shorty says:

    Ooooh, prank the biggest offender. Before they come into work, stand like 200 cups on their desk, all of them touching, and then staple them together and pour water in each. They won’t be able to get them off!

    Also, reduce! Ask your supervisor/higher power to put up signs or offer a mini pay-raise (maybe 5 cents a day?) for anyone who brings in reusable bottles.

  6. Ben says:

    Just ask your boss, or whoever puts the cups out to put less of them out so your work colleagues save the one they have until the end of the day.

  7. LOLZ says:

    maybe you TELL EVERYONE to use BOTTLES instead of plastic CUPS!!! and you can put a sign saying this fact:

    “it takes 2 litres of fresh water to create ONE plastic cup”

  8. Uluska says:

    Wash them and use to pack gifts for coworkers when holidays come: fill with candies or cookies; plant a plant; turn into needle cushion; fill with office supplies; fill with food, jam, etc.

  9. Albert Green says:

    I used to draw on them with marker making small totem-like thingies :)

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