Repurpose your “rubbish”

Repurpose your “rubbish”

We’re not implying that you keep the icky stuff BUT there is plenty to salvage and repurpose from your rubbish if you think outside of the box.

Try as one might to not buy plastics or single use items and the like, no doubt they will creep in here and there.

If you’re keen to give them as much use as possible, we’ve listed a few of these items and what you can do with them after they’ve served their actual purpose.











  • Shred for the compost heap
  • Make a trash bag (we made ours months ago and it’s still going, obviously only dry goods)
  • Say goodbye to wrapping paper, try only using newspaper to wrap gifts
  • Great for polishing windows and glass


Coffee Jars, jam jars, all the jars









  • Use as stationary holders
  • Makeup brush holders
  • Use in the garage for nails and screws
  • Store craft goods
  • Zero waste grocery items
  • The list is endless
  • Alternatively post your collected stash of glass jars on your local neighbourhood Facebook page to see if anyone would like them before you pop it in recycling. You would be surprised!
  • We know that Faith Juice (Noordhoek, CT) collects as and when they need as that is how they serve their juices. Yeah!


Bread bags








  • Use them as rubbish bin (instead of buying black bags or using other plastic bags) repurpose it so it gets at least another use.
  • Dog mess bags
  • Mini compost bag
  • Reuse for picnics or road trips
  • Take to the beach to carry home wet costumes
  • They work well as emergency gloves too (for yucky spills and the like, not medically, obviously)









  • Cutlery holders
  • Candle holder
  • Vases
  • Great for propagation
  • Tin Can Critters (how cute?)
  • Christmas Tree (we’re doing this with the kids this year!)


Plastic bottles and containers








  • Milk bottles can be transformed into handy scoops, leave the lid on and cut at an angle as deep or as shallow as you require (great as a poop scoop)
  • More sturdy plastic bottles are great for the beach or kids sand pit, simply leave the lid on and cut roughly in half
  • They can also be used as planters
  • Fantastic for crafts, PINTEREST IS YOUR FRIEND


When you can’t reuse or repurpose, recycle!


Non-Recyclable plastics









Other handy tips that we picked up while researching the post or currently do ourselves!

  • Use bread tags as handy little scrapers for when cleaning
  • Old toothbrushes – great as cleaning tools in hard to reach spots
  • Re-use envelopes – great for sending things to school etc. where whether they’re new or old will just go in the bin or recycling
  • Use old ice cream containers and similar to store leftovers (the infamous South African term for this is a “bakkie” no need to stress about getting your Tuppaware back :))
  • Used tea bags as plate scrapers (we stole this one from Helen Moffett) this is great water-saving tip too and it’s effective.
  • Old sheets can be used as forts for the kids, picnic sheets, dress up, cleaning rag OR donate
  • Using cardboard or plastic containers that you already have and use them to organize items instead of buying MORE plastic containers
  • Keep any bits of paper that are blank on one side and use for shopping lists or keep them in a handy spot.


We had so much fun researching and writing this piece, there is SO much that you can do with items that we usually just toss in the recycling or bin.


We would LOVE to hear your repurposing ways, tips or ideas!