How can I reuse or recycle greasy fish & chip papers?

I’ll let you guess what we had for dinner last night ;)

We were packing away the papers afterwards and John commented on how much paper was going to waste – it was quite a lot, with spots of grease soaked through to the out-most layer.

Our friend George thinks it’s wonderful for lighting fires/stoves but given it’s almost midsummer, it’s not exactly stove lighting weather.

It would compost – I’m always wary about adding anything fishy/meaty to our compost bin though in case it attracts vermin. (The oil used at our local fish’n'chip place is vegetable oil but it must smell of a bit of fish because the cats love the papers, even when the food has gone.)

Any other reuses?

From a reduce point of view, I could take along a reusable container and ask them to use that instead – the people at our local place are great, so I’m sure they would do it. Any advice on what type of container to use? A completely sealed one might make everything a bit sweaty on the way home. A reusable box with a towel/cloth on top?

(In case this is very much a UK-centric question, I’ll explain a bit: when we get our stereotypical fish ‘n’ chips, they usually come wrapped in paper. It’s typically a “greaseproof” sheet or pocket underneath the food, then all wrapped in a few big sheets of cheap paper. This used to be newspaper but now it tends to be purpose-bought white paper (often blank newsprint). Some places use expanded foam clam shells or waxed cardboard boxes but the majority of dedicated fish’n'chip places, in the north at least, still use paper.)

(CCA photo by jem)

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6 Responses to “How can I reuse or recycle greasy fish & chip papers?”

  1. mommacat says:

    Louisa, in the USA, in many areas it’s hard to find good UK style f&c. And
    even so, when you get it home the chips and the fish’s breading have gone soft/soggy. Yuk. You can use a 5 or 6 quart metal pot (pasta pot) with a metal colander inside. Then, when you get home you can set the pot with the colander in a 350′ oven to “re-crisp” & warm the contents.
    But seriously, the best solution I have found is this; Make f&c at home!
    It might take “practice”, but the custom results can be SUPERB! Really,
    even time-strapped people can quickly process a potato(the chips) and bread a good piece of fish. And if your fry-pot is always ready to go—this dish cooks QUICK! Many of us believe FRESH is ALWAYS the BEST!
    Quit diddling with that nasty oily paper! BTW, you can often get good
    fish on sale, and with the money you have saved- buy some Beer!!!LOL

  2. janet says:

    To much time on you hands.

  3. cmdweb says:

    You could always get one of those paper log making presses that have recently made a comeback. I’m not sure you’d get enough fish and chip paper to make logs in any great numbers unless you really like your f&c but added to junk mail and newspapers it could give you fuel, particularly if you have an open fire or a garden fire pit (personally I like to save all my junk mail and stuff it all in a pre-paid envelope and post it back to whoever is the worst offender that week – usually a credit card company – is that reuse, maybe not but it sure feels good).
    I’m not sure that I would really regard burning papers as reuse though…?

  4. Linda says:

    Burning certainly is reuse. Saves buying or consuming whatever else you would have burned instead.

    The f n’ c papers go really well in a worm farm.

    If you’re really keen, put in bucket and add boiling water to get oil out. Skim off oil and freeze with bird food for bird pudding. Paper pulp will compost well or you could make fancy recycled paper for a Christmas card for your local chippie.

  5. Cipollina says:

    If you have a fireplace of some sort it’d be great for kindling.

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