How can I reuse or recycle … crisp packets?

Crisp packetAt any one time, there are at least two or three crisp (potato chips) packets blowing around our street, invariably ending up in our garden or making “fffffwhpp” sounds as they rattle against the railings at the end of the road.

I remember making shrinky-dinks out of them when I was a kid but aside from that, I can’t think of any other ideas about what can be done with them. (And I don’t even know whether you can do that with the foil lined packets kicking around now.)

So is anyone else more inspired about what can be done with them? Suggestions for big “family size” packets as well as standard ones are welcome.

(And in case anyone else other than me is interested, this is the 250th post on here – that’s a whole lot of reusing and recycling ideas! I’m think I’m going to celebrate with some salty potato snacks!)

(Photo by monomatt)

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36 Responses to “How can I reuse or recycle … crisp packets?”

  1. CatMan says:

    what are your instructions for using them as shrinky-dinks?
    what temp? how long?
    what does it look like when done? still shiny?

  2. Delusion says:

    A friend of mine use to rinse them out fully, dry them and stick them to the inside of her coursework binders. (one per binder)

    She would then use it as a “pouch” for her floppy disks that the coursework project was saved on and so it was kept with the notes and papers.

    Now, that was a good few years ago and we all use CDs now… if they fit CDs, could be used like this again :p

  3. Kaz says:

    A band called Recoup used them as cd sleeves ( which makes me wonder if they couldn’t be used for cd and dvd storage. Recoup used cardboard inserts; I wonder whether light board, from, for example, boxes of teabags, might work well? Perhaps they could be washed, turned inside out, and pasted onto sheets of cardboard/thick card as part of a cd/dvd “book”?

  4. Amanda says:

    You can wash them out, turn them inside out and use them for wrapping paper!

  5. Sarah says:

    You could turn them inside out and use them as book covers.

  6. Anonymous says:

    use them as a decoration for colarages or for childrens homework.

  7. Exeter says:

    Paperchain Cooperative, ECC Recycling Park, exton Road, Exeter 01392 490255.

    Devon County Council use boxes from the above company to recycle crisp packets. As you can imagine all the depressed council workers munch their way through loads of crisps.

  8. Sarah Cousins says:

    HI – we cut ours in to strips (especially yhe family sized silver foiled variety) and attach to canes, sticks – anything really in our allotment – great bird scareres!!!

  9. Morgana says:

    I use them in scrapbooking to make a reflective surface.

  10. Rob White Doncaster says:

    I use crisp packets to eat crisps!

  11. Recyler says:

    You can also wash them out, ensuring that all little bits have gone and then (with lubrication) they make ideal condoms.

  12. carrie says:

    stick them through a shredder and use in gift bags

  13. Ceri says:

    You can collect as many as possible and then cut them into smaller strips and weave them together to make bags.

    This is the link to begin the weave….

    and this is the final stage of how to actually make it. You can make them from sweet wrappers too. =o)

  14. chloe says:

    that does not answer me question

  15. Ruti says:

    I think they might be able to be sewn into ‘space blankets’ like the ones hikers use for survival purposes – would that work? If it did, it would sure be handy for disaster situations.

  16. skul kid says: a skull kid im year 8 and this does not say anything about the subject realy..meanng it does not answer my question …you can not recycle it!!!



  17. Lizzy says:

    wash them out, cut seams so just one shiny panel, get some more , stick on a piece of sturdy cardboard, shiny side out, cut slots and make radiator panels to save energy =D

  18. Cipollina says:

    Cut them into 3-4 inch long 1/2 inch wide strips and staple them together into long chains to hang on the yule tree or decorate the house with during the holidays. Silver side out.

  19. Anonymous says:

    ty you have just helped me wit my homework

  20. jodie says:

    i fold them into triangles and put them in vases and things. they make funky artistic decorations. xxx

  21. Laura Steel says:

    I work for the Philippine Community Fund we are a small charity based in Southampton we collect crisp packets as well as glossy magazine, ring pulls and toothpaste tubes. We recycle these into products (handbags, jewellery, purses etc) which we sell to generate money for our projects which help improve the lives of families living in the most deprived areas in the Philippines.


    check out our website you can look at our products at the online shop and learn more about what we do..


  22. kevin r says:

    Laura Steel,
    is there a place in the US that i can send these Crisp Packets too ?

  23. Anonymous says:

    As those packets contain precious Al metal it can be extracted in the form of Aluminium chloride which is used as raw material in Paint and many other industries. For that those packets are melted first and then melt is treated chemically to seperate out Al chloride as a compound. Also it is the very cheap source as it eschews extraction cost of Al and impurity removal …

  24. katie says:

    whats a shrinky dink???
    all i know is if you clean the bag, dry it and put it in the oven at about 180 for a few minutes – watch it… it will shrink to a hard plastic – like keyring size version of your crisp bag , you can punch a hole in it for keyringd for shitty earings etc … it wicked

  25. Johnny1990 says:

    Don’t really know if this will work but cut of the seams and lay the shiny side down inbetween the beams of your ceiling and then old denim, wool shredded on top as a form of insulation. As I said don’t know if it’ll work does anyone know if it would???

  26. Pazuzu12 says:

    For well over a year now I have been collecting crisp packets and encouraging my friends and most who will listen to me to do the same for me. I was searching for ways to re-use them, after searching online the only thing I could really think of was as an insulator, so with that in mind my attempt is to collect enough to basically join together to cover the inside of my roof in my attic, having just noticed Johnny1990 I see I am not alone, as far as I now there is a common use of BoPET and Mylar in many insulating uses and industrial version are very costly.
    I must admit I am not too sure if it will work, but the fact that crisp packets are not recyclable is frightening, especially since staring to collect them I am inundated with as many as 50 a day, which I trim, wash and dry, then they are stored in a box, awaiting the time I begin joining them together. The one thing I am a little shaky on is how to join them together, I was thinking of double sided tape trimmed as thin strips and basically making sheets big enough to cover the underside of the attic roof, since I am not using the attic space other than to store my old junk and have no intention, ability or funds to convert the loft I am hoping that my attempt at re using the packets to insulate my loft will eventually aid in combating the ever increasing heating bills.

    I would be interested to now if others think I am nuts or if my attempts are achievable

  27. stevieb294 says:

    What about not eating crisps at all. You would avoid the fat and cholesterol and then you would not be…..obese!

  28. shgundun says:

    Unfortunately for me as I ve been online for 40 mins now looking for an alternative to the phillipine comm fund they no longer take items for recycling…..pooo. Any other charities that do this?
    I spose I cold make bracelets for crimbo pressies

  29. Sacredless says:

    There are a number of uses that I can think of, though I haven’t done it myself yet. What I am thinking of is insulation for the behind the heating to aid in conserving energy in your home.

    While not ideal, you can try to plaster them unto a board and hang it in front of window with plenty of sunlight to spread the sunlight through the rest of the house. Just be sure you aren’t looking into it’s glare.

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