Sunday, 1 December 2013

How to Make a Plastic Food Scoop from a Milk Carton

Recycling Plastic Milk Cartons into Food Scoops

December's mini-challenge in the Frugal Forums is to recycle as much as possible, as creatively as possible, so I'm starting with my milk cartons. At £1.62 for a 2 litre carton, it seems crazy to throw these in the bin.

2 litre milk cartons make great food scoops

Draw the shape first, keep the handle to the top

Carefully cut along the line to form your scoop

Keep the extra piece
I've been making pet food and grain scoops out of milk cartons for longer than I care to remember - working in the pet trade, scooping out bird seed for a living for a few years taught me that trick - but, as someone just pointed out to me, what's normal for one may be a brand new idea for another, so never forget to share. I have to remember this for my 2014 challenge, as I seldom post about the things I see as ordinary, mundane or second-nature to my frugal lifestyle.

The unused part of the milk containers, after cutting out your scoops, can be kept for future projects requiring firm plastic or they can be joined together for using as desk tidies, fridge containers or any number of objects - I'll post a few more soon.

Reuse the sticky labels for resealing bags
 The newer, improved, sticky labels off the milk cartons work really well for resealing plastic food bags and cereal packets and if you get really stuck, wrap them around a spare piece of milk carton and use them as sticky tape whenever needed. Ideal for sandwich bags, freezer bags and even wrapping frugal gifts.
Handy funnel for filling jars with rice etc.
The pouring end of any plastic carton makes a great funnel, but don't pour anything hot through it, as the cartons are now so flimsy that they'll just melt. The other half of this design usually gets used as a plant pot or for rinsing paint brushes. The screw caps get saved.

Spare plastic lids can come in really handy for all sorts of exciting projects, plus used as pieces in home made board games. There are so many different uses for plastic milk cartons that I have just created a new section in the Frugal Forums specifically for sharing ideas about recycling plastic milk cartons. See you there soon.

NYK, Frugaldom.

13 comments:

  1. great idea to reuse the sticky labels .......any ideas for crisp packets ?

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    1. Depends on what type of crisp packets, but yes, I can recycled some of them. It's something I learned how to do in the Girl Guides (I left in 1979) - and I let my kids try it as soon as they were old enough. I'll post about it as soon as I have some crisp packets available.

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  2. great idea, we did something similar for scooping up mushy wet leaves that had fallen onto the patio from next doors garden x

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    1. In that case, I have something that should be right up your street in this recycling project, unless you've already seen it. I'll post that soon, too. :)

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    2. Brilliant idea! Like you, I have used them as funnels before now.

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  3. we use the milk cartons left for plant labels. they wont go mushy like lollipop sticks and are free when left overs!

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    1. Oops, didn't notice this reply, but I've been making plant labels for years now as like you say, they don't fall apart when used.

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  4. If you sit the milk carton on the worktop as it is meant to sit, and cut off the bit that has the twist off cap on it, you have a great container with a handle that you can use to collect/ carry things in..we use them to collect shells when we go to the beach, among other things!

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    Replies
    1. Another great idea. I also wondered if they could be used to catch minnows and tadpoles the way we used to, but then also wondered if that's illegal nowadays? LOL

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    2. if you could cut the edge you could make it in to a soft fruit gatherer...?

      http://www.tesco.com/direct/home-made-berry-picker/305-8477.prd?pageLevel=&skuId=305-8477&kpid=305-8477&gclid=CIukpv2wkrsCFUzHtAodzBcA-A

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  5. In Canada we get our milk in plastic bags: http://thatbritishwoman.blogspot.ca/2009/12/lets-talk-about-milk.html

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    1. You can still get the bags here but they never really caught on for some reason - probably because they were so messy and needed decanting into jugs. I do remember the special jugs you could buy for them, though.

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