“Reduce, reuse, recycle”, we hear it all the time. It is great that more and more people are recycling, but all too regularly we skip to this step before thinking about how items can be reused. We are all busy, and crafting ingenious items from discarded packaging often isn’t an option. However, many companies design their packaging in ways that lends itself to reuse.

Below you’ll find some great example of easily reusable packaging that is available in the UK.

Conserves: Bonne Maman

Bonne Maman conserve jars can be reused in all sorts of ways. The company is proud that their packaging design encourages reuse. Their website has articles showing how their jars can be used for gardening, painting, preserving, storing spices, breakfast toppings and crafts.


Coffee: Douwe Egberts

Douwe Egberts is another brand that encourages their packaging to be reused. Their TV advert shows many ways the jars can be reused.


For our wedding my wife and I reused Douwe-Egberts jars in a number of different ways


Chocolate spread: Nutella

Some Nutella jars are designed to be reused. The simplest way is to use the container as a drinking glass, as suggested in this non-official advert.

Nutella jars can easily be used for storage, decorated, or even turned into terrariums!


Water: Voss

Voss water bottles have a wide mouth that invites lots of reuse ideas. Use them to store pasta, make ecojars, use to make flavoured water


Dessert: GU

GU ramekins can be used for DIY Candles, tealight holderssucculent pots, to store nik naks in or simply as a ramekin.


Swing top bottles: Lorina & Grolsch

Lorina sell lemonade and sparkling raspberry in swing top bottles. The bottles are great for chilling water in the fridge before serving at the table, or to store store homemade fruit infused vodka. Smaller bottles like Grolsch are popular for home brewing beer. They can be used for homemade vanilla extract, or your own salad dressings.


TEVRA toothbrushes used as plant labels

Toothbrushes: Bamboo

Ok, so this one isn’t packaging, but it is such an elegantly simple reuse I couldn’t help but include it. Bamboo toothbrushes make excellent plant labels. Unlike plastic brushes you can write straight onto the handles. The photos show TEVRA toothbrushes, which is the brand I’m currently using.


I hope that you manage to try some of these ideas. The more we make purchases thinking about how they might reuse the packaging, the more companies will be encouraged to design their packaging with reuse in mind. This would be a helpful step towards tackling some of the environmental problems we are facing.

Journey to Zero-Waste in the UK Facebook group has lots of ideas, and the users are friendly and supportive. Many of the ideas in this article were suggestions from a post I made to the group.