How can I reuse or recycle trade-size ice cream tubs?

The other day, John and I were hanging around a dumpster at the back of an ice cream parlour — as you do — and spotted it was full of 5ltr plastic ice cream tubs.

In our house, ice cream tubs are one of our favourite plastics to reuse – rectangular 1ltr square tubs are just the right size of storing leftovers and the 2ltr ones are useful for other storage stuff (three current reuses: we’ve got one for chicken scraps in the kitchen, I’ve got unplanted seeds in another and a third & fourth are used for batteries – one for new batteries, the other for batteries heading to recycling) – and they’re usually made from reasonably commonly recyclable types of plastic – the ones I’ve got here are Polypropylene, resin code 5. To be honest, I was quite surprised that this ice cream parlour didn’t have a recycling scheme in place since it surely generated a fair number every day.

Next time we’re in the environs, I’m tempted to ask if I can have a dozen or so to reuse. They were about 30cm (1ft) or so long, about 15cm/6″ tall and the same wide. I’ve got loads of office and craft stuff that need to be stored better and a row of those on a shelf might be a neat way to do it.

They’d also work on the thin counter in our porch as planters for growing salad etc – although I am trying to move away from growing stuff in plastic. Storage and planters – my reuse ideas for just about everything at the moment, which I think gives a rather telling glance into our life ;)

What about other reuses?

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4 Responses to “How can I reuse or recycle trade-size ice cream tubs?”

  1. 5 litre tubs would be excellent for small items like toys and needlework stuff. I am sure there are lots of community centres and children’s shelters that would love to have them for sorting and storing toys, art equipment, craft equipment, needlework and baking stuff etc. Animal shelters would probably also like some to store pet food in. Not all pet food bags are resealable.
    You could also create an inexpensive shelving and storage system with them, as an alternative to buying new chests of drawers. Just label each tub and arrange them on shelves or inside kitchen cabinets.

  2. robin lynch says:

    give them to your nearest bee keepers to use your tubsfor othet things

  3. Once you have a bulk load of them take them to your nearest carboot sale. Seriously, it will take you a couple of minutes for someone to take them off your hands. Carbooters use them to display brick-a-brack as well as store their items whilst they are travelling etc.

  4. Olia says:

    Glue wrapping paper over it and add handles for the presentation of the present.

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