How can I reuse or recycle berry baskets?

berry basketWe’ve had an email from Rebecca asking:

What can i do with green plastic berry baskets? In the US strawberries and cherry tomatoes come in these baskets; they are number 5 plastic, and I have amassed more than I have little items to hold.

Number 5 plastic isn’t usually included in the standard recycling repertoire in most places so I guess we’re looking for reuses.

Like Annie’s feta cheese basket last year, these baskets probably won’t be strong enough to hold particularly heavy things – but any suggestions?

Particularly any suggestions that will take advantage of the mostly open structure?

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17 Responses to “How can I reuse or recycle berry baskets?”

  1. Bellen says:

    I’ve seen projects where ribbon was woven in the open spaces then basket used to store things – ribbons prevent items from falling out.
    Could also be used, with newspaper liner, to start seeds.
    Two, hinged together, could be used as a gift box?
    Reuse for veggie storage in refrig.
    Use for strainer for rinsing homegrown veggies like onions or baby carrots that hold onto dirt.
    Holder, that drains well, for sponges or kitchen scrubbies.
    Drawer organizers for baby socks, or to help a young child dress, the socks and underwear for a day.

  2. Holding bath toys – my son had loads of little boats etc which got all over the bathroom, and this would keep them together and allow them to drain.

  3. Di says:

    Gardening! They work well for plants that don’t like their roots disturbed but you’ll want to transplant later (cucumbers for example).

  4. Megan says:

    Fruit baskets can always be returned to a farmer who uses them. Larger sized baskets (usually cardboard with a wooden handle) cost about 35 cents each, which adds up. The larger wooden ones cost $1. Farmers would be grateful to get some of these back if they’re still in good condition.

    Check your local farmer’s market for farmers who use similar containers. You can also do this with egg cartons and clean plastic bags.

  5. Lupa says:

    Stack them, tie them together, and let them be something for peas or beans to climb. If you need extra support, stab a couple of bamboo or other narrow bean/pea poles through at the corners.

    They also make great toys for imaginative children; when I was a kid, those made great mangers and even beds for my My Little Ponies.

  6. pam says:

    I love those containers and use them to hold vitamins and medicines – they are agreat to use as storage containers for little things on shelves. Or for storage in the bathroom (as they drain out easily).You could also cut the sides and make little weaving projects…Double them for more strength, as they are not that sturdy.

  7. Jane says:

    Haven’t tried this but they might be a great way to keep balls of yarn from tangling when you are knitting with several different colors at once. You could use twist ties to attach two together to make a closed cage…

  8. Sarah says:

    I use them in the dishwasher to hold small items that would fall through the racks. I tie them together with a bread wrapper twist tie. Stores around here are starting to use #1 plastic containers with a lid (grape tomatoes, strawberries, etc). They are recyclable but not really as reusable.

  9. Kris says:

    Cut the bottoms out of the baskets. Paint them with glue and dip in glitter. They look like snowflakes and can be used as Christmas ornaments.

  10. J says:

    I think they’d make great gift baskets.

    Martha Stewart has some good ideas:

  11. c5 says:

    I do flower arranging and use such baskets to hold big arrangements (on floor) where I fill the basket with floral foam and the arrangement will actually stick through the sides going up making a large span. Just like some I’ve taken here:

  12. diana says:

    donate to community or school garden. The kids in our scool garden club pick peas, beans and radishes and these containers are the perfect size.

  13. Erin says:

    We use these in the fall when we plant bulbs. Dig a hole, place the bulb in it, place the little basket over it the bulb, and bury. It helps to prevent the squirels from digging up the bulbs and eating them.

  14. Jenifer says:

    Well, I like to make and bake things around the holidays. I think that the little baskets would be the right size to do a small gift baskets of goodies. you could use it for small cookies, or candy. Use some decrative wrap and a bow, I bet the person receiving the gift wouldn’t even notice.

  15. Mao Ju says:

    Hey, you can use it ,for put some your sundries in it

  16. handyhelper says:

    just leave them kindly at the place that you buy them from bring your own reusable container and you wont have the waste and maybe the place that you are buying from will see that its cheaper for them to reuse kindness is the word tho but if it comes down to it you dont really have to ask at all if your bringing your own reusable container and just leave it behind thats great. you might just be able to pay less per lb. for it too if its weighed without the plastic. why pay for plastic if you have a heavy container thats reusable dont let them weigh your fruits and veggies in that lol

  17. handyhelper says:

    you could put them on or in your area if you do bring them home if not ask your childs teachers or your schools if they could use them in art projects etc

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