How can I reuse or recycle promotional nylon rucksacks?

I had an email from Melanie the other week:

My name is Melanie and I work for an events company so have promo gifts! We have quite a few nylon rucksacks that we would like to recycle but don’t know where we would take them! Can you please let me know if you can help?

We’ve covered reuses for single broken backpacks before but this query is more of a recycling-en-masse one.

Depending on how many is “quite a few”, try offering them on your local Freecycle/Freegle group or offering them to a local scrap store — the latter might not be in a position to use them themselves but they have great contacts with local schools, charities and playgroups who might be able to use them.

If it’s not possible to pass them on for reuse (for example, because they’re damaged stock or because the company who paid for them in the first place would object), you’ll probably be able to find a textile recycling company who would take them. (Depending on the company, they might only take very large quantities of textiles but you might be able to find an intermediary – for example, charity shops are often paid by weight for their bags of “rags”, items they can’t sell themselves.)

Any other suggestions?

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8 Responses to “How can I reuse or recycle promotional nylon rucksacks?”

  1. KS says:

    I would see if you can’t donate them to schools or daycares.
    My son’s daycare received a bunch of those reusable grocery bags and we use them to tranport blankets and clothes between home and daycare.

    I think they would also make great bags to keep handy at the pool or beach for wet items.

  2. Melinda says:

    They make great organizing tools for a group, team or class.
    - Places that sponsor sports teams- YMCA, YWCA, Boys and Girls Clubs- can likely make great use of these.

    - A library might offer them as bags for library materials.

    - Also, summer camps could likely make great use of them.

    - Scout and 4-H programs may also find them of use.

    - A Goodwill or thrift store could take them, too.

  3. You can make them into new interesting bags. Do a search for sewing or craft websites as I found a number of patterns when I was looking for solutions about six months ago. It normally involves cutting and ironing pieces together before sewing into new patterns. Some of them are amazing and real works of art.

  4. rowena morgan says:

    Hi Melanie

    I’m a leader with Rainbow and Brownie groups in Wellington Shropshire we could definitely make us of these sort of promotional rucksacks.

    either as craft projects or to distinguish our girls from the 1000′s of others at large scale guiding events.

    please notify me at if you still have bags that need a grateful home

    kind regards

    Rowena Morgan

  5. Medeea says:

    I think any charity shop could use them instead of the plastic bag.
    Or they could sell them as produce bags.

  6. Elrod says:

    Keep wet umbrella in it temporarily.

  7. Elrod says:

    Use as laundry bag for gentle items.

  8. Anastasia says:

    Turn it into a flag and let kids play with it. Use to store toys. Make into a pillow for outside seating or for a car. Keep in a car as trash can. Frame it, if it has interesting picture. Store artwork. Make rain coat for a baby. Make trousers for a toddler. Make rain hoodie. Use fabric for any sort of crafts, like making flowers, pencil holders, makeup bags, wallets, etc. Remove the ropes and turn them into necklaces with large beads or pendants.

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