Rinsing bottles

Am I the only cheap skate who rinses bottles, jars and stuff? Milk, cream, Javel, WC Gel, shampoo, jam, chutney, you name it I rinse it. Now. What can I do with all those plastic bottles of Mayo which have accumulated in the fridge. Wish they were clear so they could prove THEY ARE EMPTY DEAL WITH IT!

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I try to reuse a lot of glass and plastic containers of various sorts. Wine bottles of course get my homemade wine - I have 25 litres of ginger wine ready to bottle any day, and usually do at least 50 litres of fruit wines in the summer, mainly wild cherry, plum and strawberry tree. Other glass and plastic containers usually get various assorted screws/bolts/nails/bits/other thingamajigs in them. Plastic milk bottle bottoms are great for growing seedlings. Lots of other uses too. Don’t see why they should be single use when I can make good use of them.

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One way is to stop buying plastic bottles - helps the planet. Buy mayo in glass.


Are you saying you rinse bottles etc and keep them?

I try to minimise the number these days, and where I can buy things en vrac or in glass so it can be recycled more easily. Also buy solid shampoo, etc and buy large cardboard containers of bicarb and citric acid in place of lots of cleaning products.

We actually sometimes run low on jars for jam and have to ask friends! Also plastic bottles become precious…

So I would say that, first off, think really hard about whether some of those containers need to be brought into your house to start with.

Then apart from recycling there lots of useful things to make, we cut plastic bottles into rings to make slug barriers for seedling and the top parts become mini greenhouses. You can make wind flowers too with coloured bottles.

And to work out if a bottle is full, they all say the weight of the contents. So weigh a full one then weight the one you think is empty and do the maths…


Glass isn’t really great though either, even if it’s recycled. Making virgin glass uses more Co2 equivalent than making virgin plastic. Even recycled glass is pretty bad as recycling glass takes about 70% of the energy required to make virgin glass. For plastic, it’s between 10 and 25%. This idea that plastic is bad and glass is good is just false. They’re as bad as each other. The best thing you can do is try to make the best use of the material yourself.

Agree that not using in first place, or reusing yourself is best. However so much depends on local recycling facilities, as glass is definitely better if locally they can’t handle plastics.

Not 100% sure about recycling figures in France. I think they’re pretty good. Depends on what ‘recycling’ actually means though. Glass recycling has been going on for a long time and is in widespread use within Europe. Plastic recycling though is another matter. A lot gets sent to Africa or the far east, where it seems to be out of sight out of mind. There’s a lot of evidence that once it gets there, it’s just landfilled or burned which is awful.

Using crushed recycled glass (cullet) is not as bad as you think.
Glass packagings carbon footprint can be dramatically reduced through the use of recycled glass as for every kg of recycled glass displaces the need to extract 1.2 kg of virgin raw materials. Every 10 percent of recycled glass or cullet used in production results in an approximate 5 percent reduction in carbon emissions and energy savings of about 3 percent.
Different coloured glass can use different % of cullet in its production, amber around 60%, white 70% and green up to 90% so the energy savings can be quite substantial.
Recycled glass is also used in many different processes as well, glass wool insulation and road and runway surfaces being two as it makes a high grip surface as well as reflecting heat on runways.
Glass is not a problem refuse wise compared to plastics worldwide.

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Dryden Aqua pioneered the use of glass for water filtration and they utilise the metals in the coloured glass to activate it making it better than any other. Trully amazing production facilities.

One catch is that the industry doesn’t (or at any rate didn’t) use cullet for clear glass - even if you try to collect clear glass only you can never guarantee that there won’t be some brown/green in there which can contaminate a whole batch of glass.

The big win is that plastics have a habit of winding up being burned, even when you think they are being recycled, at least that can’t happen with glass.

I installed, worked and repaired 600 ton furnaces and white furnaces ran 25% white cullet in the furnaces 25 years ago making absolut vodka bottles which at the time were the industry standard for clear bottles.

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‘Buy’ ???


I buy clothes- and dish- washing stuff en vrac and get my bottles refilled as necessary, in fact I buy pretty much everything, edible or not, en vrac and make most things from scratch. My daughter the engineer makes soap as a hobby and it is marvellous.

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@vero How wonderful.
Isn’t the soap making process potentially explosive?

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Hi Jane,

so obvious and yet I never thought of it.

Wondering about your yield from a, say, 1.5 litre water bottle.

What height cloche is your ‘cloche’ for bedding plants, made out of the top end? How many slug rings are you typically getting out of 1 bottle after that?

I won’t get to start my potager till next spring. What with this year taken up with my first exposure to French admin, WA, plus the booked maintenance jobs for when(if) 46 gets dry weather this year. But I might as well start saving slug rings and cloches now.

What height are your slug rings when you put them into the ground? Judging by our garden snails here, I suspect we have rather athletic slugs here too. So wondering what height slug ring will deter enough of them …

Thats taking clean a bit too far :rofl:

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Your industry experience is clearly more extensive and recent than mine - I did a summer job for Pilkington glass as a teenager and a design project for Rhurglas as a software engineer, both told me they did not use recycled cullet in the clear glass as it took a surprisingly small amount of coloured glass contamination to cock things up.

That did not apply though to cullet generated within the factory itself which definitely was used.

Separately (and more recently) I remember reading that it doesn’t really matter which glass recycling bin you place your bottles as it all gets used for coloured glass anyway - though that, arguably, is only loosely related.

Dryden Aqua have a separating machine that screens out different coloured glass faster than you can see it with amazing accuracy.

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Didn’t know that - modern technology, as they say, is amazing.