5 ways to recycle plastic milk bottle tops

Filed in Blog by on October 8, 2011 16 Comments
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Find out how to recycle your plastic milk bottle tops

Find out how to recycle your plastic milk bottle tops

Here it is! The definitive guide to recycling your milk bottle tops in the UK.

Some of these ways support charity so it’s a win-win: you’re turning your rubbish into a resource that benefits others AND you’re keeping plastic out of landfill.

Most local authorities recycle plastic milk bottles, but not all will take the plastic tops. Some local authorities ask you to put them on the bottle when recycling, others ask you to remove the tops and recycle them separately and others say to landfill the tops!


GHS will collect and recycle milk bottle tops for the charity of your choice. There is a minimum payment amount of 500 kgs but they will keep track of the amount you send in if you just want to post a small pack at a time.

Why not set up a collection point at your workplace or children’s school?


Compost Woman told me about the Worcester Scrapstore who will take washed milk bottle tops.

The Children’s Scrapstore are a charity that collects safe waste from business which can re-used as a low cost creative resource by their member groups. They stock all sorts of things people need for creative play such as paper and card, foam, plastic pots, tubes and tubs and fabric. Members can fill a trolley to the brim for around £13. So it really is a case of one man’s trash is another man’s treasure!

Why not find your nearest children’s scrapstorebranch and see if they can use your plastic milk bottle tops?


Ian runs HS4B (Help & Support for Bankrupt People); a charity for helping bankrupt people. HS4B provide a non judgemental environment both on and offline for people that have been made bankrupt.

As well as plastic milk bottle tops, Ian accepts margarine pot lids, plastic lids from jars like coffee jars etc and the bulky plastic tops you get on fabric softener bottles.

Mental Health Collection

Michelle from Eco Centricity contacted me this week to tell me about her new collection for plastic milk bottle tops to support local mental health charity, Solent Mind.

Donations of 1-5 bags can be collected from in and around the new forest area, larger donations will need to be dropped off in store due to transport limitations.

For every 500kg of milk bottle Eco-Centricity can collect, £25 will go directly to Solent mind. Meanwhile the milk bottle tops will be upcycled into children’s slides!

Melt Down pet bowls

Louise Beams produces Meltdown Eco Pet Bowls. When she found out her local authority didn’t collect plastic milk bottle tops she decided to make this valuable resource into something instead of throwing it away and her Eco friendly pet bowls were born!

The milk bottle tops are granulated into small pieces by a granulator machine. These smaller pieces are then melted down and pushed through mesh to turn them into small pellets which can be used for injection moulding into brand new products.

What about you – do you know of any schemes to recycle plastic milk bottle tops?

About the Author ()

I am a long time supporter of the Green and Sustainable lifestyle. After being caught in the Boscastle floods in 2004, our family begun a journey to respect and promote the importance of Earth's fragile ecosystem, that focussed on reducing waste. Inspired by the beauty and resourcefulness of this wonderful planet, I have published numerous magazine articles on green issues and the author of four books.

Comments (16)

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  1. Jane says:

    Harwich Fryatt Hospital has a collection for an eye charity.

  2. Ann Knight says:

    My washed plastic bottle tops are used by a local infant school for creative purposes.

  3. My Mummy Reviews says:

    Hi, Thanks for this article. I really enjoy reading all your eco hints and tips. I now save my milk bottle lids for LUSH – the skincare shop. It seems they can recycle them into their new black pots that they put their creams in. Here is a link to the info.


    Keep up all the good work.

    Best wishes,
    My Mummy Reviews

  4. Thanks for mentioning our milk bottle tops collection 🙂 We have 2 bin bags full now so our collection is growing!
    I love the Meltdown pet bowls! I will definately be grabbing some of these as my mum has quite a few cats, and I like to make sure even the pets have green choices 😉

  5. Jane says:

    Washed plastic tops are used for working out fractions at the local primary school.

  6. Mrs Green says:

    @Jane: thanks for the info Jane

    @Ann Knight: that’s lovely Ann; these simple things probably bring so much enjoyment to the children

    @My Mummy Reviews: I never knew about LUSH: thanks for sharing and for posting the link 🙂

    @Michelle Morgan @ Eco-Centricity: glad to know you’ve got 2 bags full – that’s excellent

  7. Melanie Bartlett says:

    @My Mummy Reviews: Thanks for the info about LUSH. I’ve been looking for a charity in this area that collects but can’t find one so I’ll take them to LUSH instead.

  8. Anne Phillips says:

    Where is the collection points for me to leave them in cornwall.

  9. Anne Fraser says:

    Does anybody know of anywhere in Scotland where milk bottle tops are put to good use?

  10. Peter van der Wal says:

    I live in North West Leicestershire, and have about one tonne of plastic milk bottle tops, all clean and sorted. Does anyone know of any body in this area that would either like them or where I can take them.
    Many thanks

  11. Susan Young says:

    Lush no longer collect recycle plastic milk bottle tops. They have too many – so sad. Now looking for another charity in London Borough of Havering to help?

    • Mrs Green says:

      Oh no! Thanks for the headsup Susan. I’m not sure how I feel about it. Glad it’s been successful but unhappy there is not more room for recycling!

      • Susan Kay-Attwood says:

        Our lush in Guildford still accepts small bags of them. But you can’t send them by post any more.

  12. Wayne Marshall says:

    GHS recycling offer £30 donation to your charity of choice for 500k of bottle tops.
    Limited collection points though…


  13. shelly says:

    i would really like to get hold of michelle from eco centricity as interested in sending milk bottle lids to help a mental charity solent mind and a great idea on upcycling
    are you able to help with the information

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