How can I reuse or recycle … plastic tie things?

Plastic tieHad an email last week from Kate Spencer. She had lots of good ideas for ways we can develop the sites (thanks Kate!) and a couple of suggestions so here’s the first:

I’m busy tidying up after Christmas, and because I have a 3 year old I have lots of those annoying plastic ties that manufacturers use to fasten toys into the packaging.

She realises there are some obvious reuses – such as bag-ties, “I fastened our Christmas lights onto our balcony with them” and to tie-up plants in the garden – but wanted to know if anyone has any other suggestions.

For anyone not familiar with what she means, it’s little thin strips of wire coated in plastic that can be bent over and the ends twisted together to make a secure (ish) tie. They’re also used in computer components packaging and that sort of thing. The photo is of the lightweight sandwich bag equivalent – because I couldn’t find any others. : )

(Oh, and happy new year everyone!)

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Christmas, items, packaging

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13 Responses to “How can I reuse or recycle … plastic tie things?”

  1. Keith R says:

    I always save those things whenever we get a new gizmo or gadget packed with them, because you never know when they come in handy around the house. I primarily use them to tie up vines, tie my rose bush to the fan trellis, and guide creepers in the garden, or as ties for garbage bags, but have also been known to use them to (1) replace the lost ties (one always seems to disappear each year) for the Christmas lighted wire sculptures (you know, like the reindeer sculpture on the front lawn that, once all the ties are removed, collapses into compact, boxable shape); (2) twin together wiring running together along walls, floors or ceilings(speaker wire with phone wire or other cords) to keep them manageable and in check; (3) tie up the slack of the various wires belonging to my desktop computer and its peripherals, so that I don’t have a messy nest of wires underneath my desk and potentially catching my feet;(4) string together some of my lighter tools used for related purposes — such as the paint scrapers and/or brushes of various sizes, which always have a hole in the handle — so that they can be hung together on my wall pegboard and thus are found together when it comes time to do a job (rather than waste time hunting down that last one hiding at the bottom of my tool collections).

    I also always keep a couple of them in the side pocket of my travel bag. You never know when or how they might come in handy.


  2. Anonymous says:

    I sometimes strip them of the paper/plastic coating and use them in craft projects. I often double them up, twist them tight and then snip off the ends leaving enough to bend down so as to not get poked.

  3. Try using them with flower arrangements – perfect for flowers with weak stems.

  4. Butterscotch says:

    use them to replace the spirol wire in a spirol notepad.

  5. Kate TW says:

    If you are a pack rat, and simply have accumulated a lot of them over a long period without using them for anything practical, you could make a very very long twist tie to use as the base for a festive holiday garland. If you used all recycled materials to attach to the garland, it could turn into a very inspired work of art.

  6. Wen Rou says:

    They can be used to attach balloons for decoration in a party instead of using string.

  7. Anonymous says:

    When i was younger,i used to make rings out of them to play. Just roll them around the kid’s finger, twist it and make a lil ball with the left over, then cover the ball with aluminum paper to make the stone.

  8. Pat says:

    I fasten treats to my parakeets cages. And i use them to tie things together, if they are too short i just twist several together. You can stake a flowering vine to a net or fence with them.

  9. Ruti says:

    We had a sculpture competition with them, as an icebreaker activity.

  10. I use them to hold all of the electronics cords nicely and from not getting all tangled.

  11. LR says:

    I have no use for them and I have thousands of them.

    If you or anyone you knows that can use them, I would be more than happy to send them along with my love.

    • Geek4Life says:

      Ditto. I have so many and hate to throw them away. I’d love to discover some place that’ll recycle them.

  12. Jodi Whitler says:

    Same here. My hoarding of them is rediculous but I just can’t seem to bring myself to throw them away. I would love to recycle them if anyone knows how or where.

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