How can I reuse or recycle plastic VHS video cases?

video_cases250.jpgWe’ve covered on VHS cassettes before but now Suzy has emailed asking about their now redundant solid cases:

I have some old vhs tape cases. The cases are made of a plastic shell to hold the video that is glued to a cardboard outer layer with the artwork printed on it.

I’ve pulled apart several of the cases and recycled the cardboard, but now I’m left with a stack of plastic shells (most with glue residue on the back).

Is it possible to recycle this plastic? I don’t see any recycling symbols but I’d hate to just throw them away!

There must be thousands and thousands of these things kicked about as people dumped their old videos. So any suggestions for recycling or reusing them?

(Photo by Suzy – thanks Suzy!)

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27 Responses to “How can I reuse or recycle plastic VHS video cases?”

  1. Michael says:

    I use one as a paperback book holder when I travel. Stops the book cover form getting ripped and wrinkled in the suitcase.

  2. :D says:

    I use a nice green, ‘Bugs Life’ one as a pencil case ;)

  3. trish says:

    if its unmarked, store valuables in them in plain site, there really isn’t any money in vhs any more, so if your house was robbed.

    glue them shut for small children to use as blocks.

    I like the book idea,

    Take them on a camping trip or boating trip, they’ll float and they’ll be water resistant.

    decorate them pretty and use them to “wrap” gifts in.

    store all your warrenties in them, they’re easy to file on a shelf.

    give them to kids for trinket boxes.

    great storage for kids stuff, stickers, pencils, crayons, etc…

    fill them with beans, rice, etc, seal them and make instruments for kids.

    let kids make a “time capsule” bury it in your flower garden or yard.

    use it as an on the go jewelry box, they’ll keep every thing together in your suitcase.

    store small candles in them, great camping idea to keep the wicks dry.

    paint them like dominoes and make designs to fall…

  4. trish says:

    oh yeah, you could store pictures in them too.

  5. Shama Hyder says:

    I used to use mine as pencil boxes!

  6. Nigello says:

    Tape 2 or 3 together, perhaps cover them, and use them as blocks for the kids or as ‘yoga blocks’ that you sit on. Or fill them with stones or sand and use them as light weights to work out with. Nigello

  7. erroir says:

    Toss them on the campfire – they make pretty colored flames!!

  8. andrew says:

    use them to store old vhs tapes in

  9. Ashlyn Noble says:

    If you have a small local library, ask them if they’d like a donation of VHS cases, when I worked at a library we could really have used some extras =)

  10. Viking says:

    If you have an olf-fashioned APS-camera, the cases make good containers for the film spools.

  11. bill says:

    side your house with them

  12. Katie Doll says:

    I chick made a purse out of one once, i thought it looked pretty neat.

  13. Phil says:

    I like to use mine to keep videos in

  14. Gulia says:

    If someone needs more of them, ask local Blockbuster.

  15. Hello, I recycle these boxes as part of a roof I made out of Video tapes. I used them to finish of the sides of the roof. You can see some pictures here:

  16. Betty says:

    Remove pages from an old book, and glue the cases inside the cover. You can hide valuables right on your bookshelf, and no one will suspect. Incidentally, I am looking to buy video cases for this very project. Want to sell some? Please contact me at if you can spare about 10 cases.

  17. A really good way of reusing them is to take all the ribbon out and use them as streamers

  18. Tia says:

    T.J’s Recycling which is owned by a young man who started his business when he was 11, takes the cassette and vhs tapes and re purposes them. Check out the pics on or own the web site tjsrecycledproducts. They are in Va.

  19. Deborah marsh says:

    Ive used mine to pin on the wall and slide a photograph in makes a great photo frame

  20. Jo Middleton says:

    line with tracing paper, put some battery operated white lights in and use as a mini light box. great for writing on with dry wipe pens in early years settings! trace letters, numbers or use as a free drawing activity!

  21. Whit says:

    Good ideas! I use an old VHS case to store my crochet hooks in. Small sewing notions would also fit in an old case.

  22. Phillipa Shaw says:

    I want to recycle the actual videos with the tape in. Obviously I would remove the tape, then what. The ideas on the boxes are good though.
    Phillipa Shaw Brighton, East Sussex

  23. Debbie says:

    Hi, if you are in the UK, try contacting Environmental Media Solutions, There should be a form to download from their website and you can send up to 100 items free of charge but have to pay the postage. A carrier such as MyHermes might be cheapest.

  24. Along the Way says:

    If you got many of those boxes, build small play house for a child. Connect boxes with duct tape.

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