25 Ways to Recycle and Reuse Empty Prescription Pill Bottles


One of the more common things that we have lying around the house is often prescription bottles. With so much plastic going into making these bottles, it seems foolish to just chuck them into the trash, but after they’re empty, we never really do anything with them. Luckily, there are multiple ways you can give your prescription bottles new life, and save them from the landfill. Empty medicine bottles are just the thing for travel, organization and storage! Here are 25 ways you can reuse your pill bottles — we bet you never thought of these!

1. Portable First Aid Kit

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Have you ever cut your finger and looked around for a bandage, but weren’t able to find one? Keeping up with your first aid needs can be easy with an empty pill bottle. Fill your prescription bottle with the things you need in case of an accident: bandages, aspirin or ibuprofen, antiseptic wipes, gauze, alcohol pads, and rubber gloves. You won’t believe how many things you can pack in these small bottles.

2. Match Holder

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When you’re out in the wilderness, you need to have a way to start a fire for warmth, security or cooking. Matches are easy to carry but if you carry a matchbook with your other supplies, it can get damaged or wet, meaning it won’t work. Keep matches secure by storing them in your pill bottle.

3. Waterproof Money Holder

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Prescription bottles are waterproof, and therefore, they’re handy little storage containers If you’re going to the lake, pool or beach, make sure you keep your money dry by rolling a few bills into the bottle. You can tie a string around the cap to make sure that it’s handy and on you.

4. Travel Sewing Kit

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No one likes a lost button or ripped stitch so when it happens, be sure you have a handy sewing kit. There’s no need to be a buy store kit when you can make your own with a few sewing notions and an empty prescription bottle. Pack a few needles, buttons, thread, safety pins, and a pair of scissors inside the bottle to make quick repairs when needed.

5. Travel Liquid Containers

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The airline industry regulates how many ounces of a product may be brought on planes, which means that many of us will buy the “trial size” bottles of shampoo, body wash, or conditioner. Save your money and skip the drugstore trip by using a clean empty pill bottle. Just pour your product into the bottle and close the cap. Be sure that you don’t go over the TSA guidelines — currently you’re allowed 3.4 ounces of a liquid in a bottle and the bottle must be stored in a clear plastic baggie.

6. Protective SD Card Storage

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An SD card is one of the best ways to preserve your memories, especially if you take a lot of photographs. SD cards are very small making them easy to lose or damage if they’re not in a protective case. There’s no need to buy a bulky SD card case, because a prescription bottle is a slimmer free alternative you’ll love. Stash your SD cards in an empty pill bottle and pack among your belongings when traveling, camping or playing at the beach.

7. Travel Perfume Container

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Do you hate bringing your perfume bottle in your purse, because you’re scared it might leak? The durable plastic body and cap of a prescription bottle makes it a handy way to tote your perfume on-the-go, plus save room in your purse. Rather than taking along the whole bottle of perfume, just soak a few cotton balls in your favorite scent, then store in a prescription bottle. You can take out the cotton ball and dab as needed.


8. Earbud Carrying Case

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Earbuds can be hard to store unless you purchase a special wrap, but let’s face it, many of us just ball our earbuds in our pockets or purses. Decrease the chances of your earbuds getting tangled, lost or broken by storing your earbuds right inside the bottle. Not only will you know where they are at all times, but you’ll also be able to keep them from falling out or getting wet. Just wrap them carefully in the bottle and close the lid — it’s that easy.

9. Desk Organizer

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If you have an office or desk space, you may feel like you have a bunch of little things that aren’t corralled in one spot. Paper clips, rubber bands, staples and push pins are just a few of the items that you can store in an empty pill bottle on your desk or in a desk drawer. Sort each collection of items into its own bottle and place a cap on it; you can even label if desired. Now next time you’re looking for a rubber band or paper clip, you’ll know exactly where to look.

10. DIY Bamboo Vase

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Do you have a stack of orange empty prescription bottles? You can use them to make a “bamboo vase” by stacking them on top of one another. When stacked together, it creates the effect of a bamboo stalk and makes an ideal vase. You’ll need to drill a hole in all but one of the pill bottles so the plant can go all the way through the vase. Fill the bottom pill container (the one with no hole) with water, and insert your plant stalk down into the vase.

11. Recycle Bottles into Jewelry

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Prescription bottles can come in a variety of colors, and their durable plastic bodies can make for unique jewelry pieces. Collect the empty prescription bottles around your house, and get creative by cutting them apart into pieces into whatever size you like. You can string them on necklaces, use them to create a pair of earrings, or even turn them into a fashionable bracelet. You may even try to melt down several empty pill bottles to let the plastic form into a unique mixture of color and shape. Don’t be afraid to try new things!


12. Hair Accessory Storage

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Keeping up with hair accessories can be tough because bobby/hair pins and hair ties are so small. Corral them all into one handy spot to be used “on the go” with a prescription bottle. You can decorate the bottle with a bit of pretty contact paper to mask its original use, and make a colorful storage option in your gym bag, purse or car. Next time you have a hair emergency, you’ll know right where to find the fix.

13. Storage Container for Q-Tips

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You can use Q-tips for a variety of things, from cleaning your car to dusting off keyboard keys, or even doing makeup touch ups. Make sure you have your Q-tips at the ready by packing them in an empty pill bottle, then you can carry them in your bag, glove compartment or anywhere else you need. Don’t forget to use an empty prescription bottle in the bathroom too, because this will save you having to scrape up loose Q-tips from the bottom of your drawers.

14. Key Hider

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Keep up with your keys in case of a lockout situation with a prescription bottle hide-a-key. First scrape of all of the identifying prescription labels off your empty pill bottle, then slip your key inside. Pill bottles are waterproof so your key will be protected from snow or rain once inside the bottle. Place a rock, pinecone or other natural object on top of the lid to disguise it from intruders.

15. Miniature Cookie Cutter

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Get small round cookies for macaroons and other small desserts with a handy cookie cutter: a prescription bottle. After washing the bottle out carefully, you can press the top of the bottle into cookie dough to make a perfect round little cookie shape. Just be sure you wash and dry the bottle thoroughly to make sure that no pill residue seeps into the cookies.

16. Sweetener and Creamer Carrier

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Do you love using packaged creamer or sweetener? The paper packages of these products can make them easy to tear, especially if you’re storing them inside of your purse or handbag. To have your favorites always at-the-ready, pour some of your favorite powdered creamer right into a clean empty prescription bottle. You can also use the bottle to store Crystal Light or sweetener packets.


17. Emergency or Travel Battery Storage

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When you’re in an emergency situation, you want to be able to retrieve batteries quickly, especially if you need them for a radio, flashlight or other device. Even when you’re traveling, you might want spare batteries for your digital camera or other gadgets, but traveling them loose in a bag isn’t recommended. Make sure you have your emergency or backup batteries secured by storing them in an empty pill bottle and labeling them.

18. Glitter Carrier

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Love to do arts and crafts, and want to store your glitter easily? Glitter is excellent to store in an empty pill bottle and you can separate all of your favorite colors with the bottles. You can even carry the glitter in the pill bottle and take out a pinch at times when you’re feeling a little blue. I bet you won’t be able to not smile when you sprinkle the glitter around yourself. Who said we can’t have a little frivolity now and then?




19. Seed Container

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If you have seeds leftover from planting, it can be hard to put them back in the paper sleeve, especially if the sleeve is torn. Keep your seeds in a prescription bottle and label multiple bottles with each type of seed it carries. Your seeds will be kept in a good environment, and can be used in your next planting season.

20. Party Candy Favors

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Are you hosting a party and want a small personalized party favor? Believe it or not, prescription pill bottles are just what the doctor ordered. After cleaning out the bottles thoroughly, affix your own funny or clever label, then fill with candy or small favors. For “over the hill” parties, this is a great way to make a funny favor that your guests will appreciate.

21. Lip Balm Storage

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Keeping up with your chapstick or lip balm can be a chore, especially since it’s so tiny and can get lost easily in a jacket pocket, handbag or purse. Make sure your lip balm or Chapstick is handy by storing the sticks in an empty pill bottle. You may be able to store up to 4 or 5 sticks at once. Not only will you have them at the ready when you need them, but you’ll also prevent them from melting.

22. Mini Jewelry Container

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Jewelry can get easily get tangled in a jewelry box or holder, so why not use an empty pill bottle to separate some of your precious pieces? Using a pill bottle for your jewelry is a great way to store rings or earrings especially when traveling, and you’ll be preventing them from getting damaged or tangled. Get creative and decorate the bottle with paint, plastic gems, or contact paper to make it look just as pretty as the pieces it carries.


23. Spice Storage Containers

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If you love to cook, you probably use a lot of spices, such as cinnamon, paprika and other spices. Spices often come in large glass or plastic bottles, and since they vary in size, it can be cumbersome to store them in your cabinet, especially if you’re cramped for space. Create your own set of customized spice storage containers with a set of empty pill bottles. Take each bottle and label it with a spice, then store your spices, arranging them in a row to be retrieved when necessary.

24. Change Purse

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Keeping change from accumulating in the bottom of your handbag can be a struggle when you want to dig for a quarter to pay the parking meter or vending machine. Unfortunately, change is still a necessity for many of of us, which means we have to carry it around. Instead of digging in your wallet or purse for a spare dime or quarter, store your change in a few prescription bottles as needed. You’ll be able to retrieve it instantly at the store, on the street, or anywhere else you need change.

25. Toddler Toys

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Empty pill bottles can make great toys if you take care to remove the label and decorate them thoroughly. One toddler toy you can make with an empty pill bottle is miniature “canned goods,” by gluing printed canned good labels (check Google Images) onto each, then coloring the lid to match. Now you’ll have a set of play food that children can use to play house, grocery, or any other game. Another way to use your empty prescription bottle as a shaker toy. Decorate the bottle with bright paper, stickers or contact paper, then fill with objects that can make a rattly sound. You can also work on dexterity skills by showing the child how to drop Cheerios, beans or other small objects into the bottle — just be sure you don’t leave them alone while they do it.