How can I reuse or recycle bread bag tags?

Bread tagWe’ve had an email from Lyndall, saying:

hi, i was wondering if anybody knew what to do with bread tags. i hate throwing them away, but i don’t know what else to do with them. would welcome any suggestions.

We don’t really have them over here these days – shops seem to prefer those little sticky things that lose their stickiness (and therefore ability to seal the bag) after one opening but then still manage to attach themselves to your shoes/socks/cat and refuse to come off no matter how much you shake your foot/cat.

Anyway… bread tags/clips. I suspect they could just be reused as general plastic bag seals around the kitchen – but any other suggestions?

(Photo by Bando26)

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86 Responses to “How can I reuse or recycle bread bag tags?”

  1. Thistle says:

    Crafters use bread tags to wind spare threads and yarns on. Especially helpful for embroiderers and colorwork knitters.

  2. Anonymous says:

    I remember using them in Kindergarden. We would count out 100 of them and then make them into different size piles (ie, 10s 20s 2s, 5s, etc.)

  3. Danny says:

    Poker chips!

  4. Jason C says:

    I’m not sure how to reuse them, but I do know that they are color coded by day of the week of when the bread is delivered to the store.

    You can remember that the colors in alphabetical order…

    Blue = Monday
    Green = Tuesday
    Red = Wednesday
    White = Thursday
    Yellow = Friday

    • Random says:

      I’ve always thought it was

      Maybe its different in different parts of the world tho.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Guitar picks?

  6. Tamara says:

    put some in an oatmeal container (in the u.s. they are cylindrical and made of cardboard)or the hollow cardboard bit from the end of wrapping paper, tape off the ends, and decorate the outside. voila– lovely noisemaker to send your nieces and nephews home with.

  7. Delores says:

    Martha Stewart said to write on them and attach to electrical cords, computer wires… so you would know what the wire was for. I’v tried it works good.

  8. nicole says:

    i keep a couple by the sink to scrape off hard cooked on bits of gunk on my dishes

  9. wildflower says:

    Please break them before discarding so they won’t get caught on a bird beak or rodent foot!

  10. Elouise says:

    I use them to seal plastic bags of food that I put in my freezer. That is very much the original use, but it means I almost never throw them away.

  11. Janet says:

    Put on the ends of rolls of parcel tape etc, you will never lose the end again

  12. Rosie says:

    Good to replace board game items.. such as when you use counters etc?

  13. Ken says:

    Use them to label your electrical cords for your computer, TV/audio/etc. Saves tracing the wires back to the source.

  14. Watervase says:

    A bread clip will hold a pair of socks together in the wash
    These make excellent bookmarks. Just clip a few pages together.
    Students, or young girls can paint these and use them as funky earrings
    Keep rubber bands inside the clip bit of the tags. It stops them getting all over the drawer.
    Spray paint these silver, gold, or green and use to hang Christmas tree lights
    Dry pantyhose, stockings, hose, etc on a thin wire coat hanger. Simply attach them to the hanger with old bread bag clips.

  15. Amber says:

    I love using them on cards or collages. It’s fun to find one with someones birthday and attach it to the ribbon on their gift. You can also apply glue, cover in patterned paper, and then cut around with exacto knife for an adorable tag. I’m sure they would be cute covered in glitter as well.

  16. Jan says:

    Use them as stitch markers. I use them all the time when crocheting. I just hook one of the ends on the stitch and keep on going. Use different colors for increases and decreases.

  17. hollypop says:

    i use them for guitar picks & to hold (& mark) the end of a ball of yarn/string)

  18. mary says:

    i made a lightweight picture frame out of reclaimed materials, using bread clips on the back as picture hangers. you have to glue a bit of cardboard to them so they stand away from the surface of the frame back and the ‘keyhole’ cut-out in the clip can sit on thumb tacks pushed into the wall. can you dig it?

  19. Eliz says:

    YES! please be sure to break them in half when throwing out, so little animal feet don’t get caught!!!!

  20. Gulia says:

    On some calendars the hall on top of the page rip where the nail is. Glue the tags on the back of each page so the hall on calendar and on a tag overlap ( opening of the tag down). Now there will be no ripped halls.

  21. David says:

    Secure Tomato plants, Grape vines etc. to arbor. Tie Christmas lights and other wires to keep them from tangeling.

  22. David says:

    Sorry that’s tie’s not tags.

  23. ecomonster says:

    i like the markers idea for knitting!

  24. audrey says:

    I have a use for the bread tags…marking flowers that are in bloom to determine over the season which ones to save the seeds.
    My question is where can I buy them in bulk. Having friends, neighbors and relatives save them is not enough.

    If anyone has any suggestions I would be very happy. Just email me!

    • Anonymous says:

      I have been saving bread tags for anyone that would needs/wants them. Just send me your address and I will forward them to you.

      • Anonymous says:

        Just e-mail me at I am willing to send them free of charge to anyone in Canada.

      • Fernanda says:

        Hello. I read a 5 year old post of yours on about those little bread tags that aren’t around anymore. My husband threw out the whole lot when we moved house thinking they were rubbish!
        I would love to get hold of some more. Do you have any more, by any chance, and if not, do you know where I could get hold of some?

        Fernanda Boorman

  25. Sandra says:

    I am like Audrey, I would also like to know where I can buy some of the plastic bread clips. If you all find some one that sells them please email me a

    I want to use them on my electric wires to electronic equipment and some other little project I am working on. Thank for your help. :)

  26. gail ross says:

    Yes, those are all wonderful ideas, but can they be sent to recycling centers and melted down, or however they do it, to make other products?

  27. Leigh Morgan says:


    My name is Leigh Morgan, I am in the process of collecting various colours and dates of bread tags from around the world for an art project I am planning. I would so greatful to anyone who is prepared to send any amount of bread tags, I am more than happy to cover postage/shipping costs, as I m in Australia.


    Leigh Morgan

  28. Sara says:

    My dad used one as a wine glass charm. Although, i’d probably decorate them first.

  29. David says:

    Hello to you all;

    I am the UK distributor for these bread tags and I am amazed at some of the novel and innovative uses you have all come up with to reuse these products. I can answer one question which has come up – you can recycle these clips in with your plastic recycling system here in the UK – The closures are made from Polystyrol which is a category 4 plastic so if you run out of novel ways to use them then they can happily be recycled.

    • Delwynne says:

      Hi there. Thanks for the info David.

      I am aware that there are schemes where plastics manufacturers are involved with ‘bread tags for wheelchairs’ schemes. I have checked on the internet, and so far have only found information where this operates in South Africa. Our local Womens’ Institute Federation collects bread tags and sends them on somewhere. I collect them, and pass them on to a WIF member here in Papamoa New Zealand, and she hands them on to a national co-ordinator. She is not sure where they go from there, and is going to find out for me…

      Are you aware of any such scheme in your country?

      Thanks everyone. :)

      • lizzilou says:

        Send your used bread tags to the Rachel Swart fund – they collect them for wheelchairs – they have a web site

  30. EcoMonster says:

    I’m currently collecting plastic bread tags for a upcycle craft project. If you’re interested in sending them my way instead of the landfills, email me at
    Thank you!

  31. Singaporean says:

    10 Amazing Uses Of Plastic Bread Bag Clips:

    1. These make excellent guitar picks. They are easier to hold than store bought ones and stronger.
    2. Use as a scraper on non stick pans. They won’t scratch the finish.
    3. A bread clip will hold a pair of socks together in the wash.
    4. These make excellent bookmarks. Just clip a few pages together.
    5. Students, or young girls can paint these and use them as funky earrings.
    6. Keep rubber bands inside the clip bit of the tags. It stops them getting all over the drawer.
    7. Spray paint these silver, gold, or green and use to hang Christmas tree lights
    8. If you get paint onto the glass when painting windows, these will scrape it off without scratching
    9. Small children like to use these for counting and sorting. (Be careful of choking hazard with very young children.).
    10. Dry pantyhose, stockings, hose, etc on a thin wire coat hanger. Simply attach them to the hanger with old bread bag clips.

  32. Leigh Morgan says:

    I collect them!

    • christine o'donoghue says:

      Hi Leigh
      Have a number of bread tags that I was collecting for a lady who used them for fundraising but she no longer requires them. I see you collect them as of May this year. Do you still require them? as I will send these to you and keep collecting if they can be used.
      I am at and live in western NSW. Christine

  33. Carmelle says:

    I presently have at least forty pounds of bread tabs for which I have no use. I would love to donate them to a charitable organization. Is there such a thing? I continue to have access to more of these on an on going bases. I can’t however afford the shipping cost .
    God bless
    Carmelle from Nova Scotia
    My email address is

  34. Linda says:

    I think I have come up with a totally different use. I typically wear an item of clothing (outerwear) more than once before laundering it, but I can’t remember how many times I’ve worn something. So I’m going to try using several colors of these things, hung around the neck of the hanger (ie; white for “worn once”, yellow for “worn twice” etc.) That way I won’t be washing clothing unnecessarily thinking “I must have worn this” when maybe I haven’t.

  35. ingrid says:

    some special needs schools collect them, to assist children to improve their fine motor skills by letting the children clip the tags onto a piece of string that has been pulled taut.

  36. Lorn Norris says:

    In South Africa there is an organization that collects bread bag tags to recycle and the proceeds are used to buy wheelchairs. It takes 1 million tags to buy one wheelchair! You can post them to PO Box 215 Noordhoek 7970 or mail me at

  37. Susan says:

    The ideas are brilliant! I will never throw another one away – ever!
    Thank you everyone!

  38. Uluska says:

    Glue those tags around halls of a writing paper, since those halls tend to rip all the time in a folder.

  39. Virginia Smith says:

    Hi all – just stumbled across a great ‘bread tag recycling’ idea at work today – it’s a Cross made from bread tags, ribbon & lace – I was amazed that somebody thought of it. I work as Recreation person for 25 Dementia residents in a Catholic Aged Care Home so am always looking for new ideas. If anybody would like to donate some bread tags to me, I would really, really appreciate it. Please send me an e:mail and I’ll give you my postal address. Silly thing is – I started collecting them and had about 30 & thought why am I saving these? I ended up throwing them out. Thank you

  40. Virginia Smith says:

    Forgot to mention, I live in a suburb of Sydney, Australia.
    My e:mail address is:
    Thanks again.

  41. Kylie says:

    Hello! I am trying to collect some of these bread tags as a school project. I’m broke, so I can’t pay anything, really sorry. But, feel free to email me, I am in Canada :)


  42. Virginia Smith says:

    A big thank you to Amy Maughan in Melbourne, Australia for her offer to post me some bread tags for recycling craft at my Aged Care facility. Very much appreciated Amy!

  43. Paul says:

    Hello Virginia – I live in SA and have just cleaned out a drawer containing quite a number of these bread tags and I’ll be happy to post them to you.

  44. Virginia Smith says:

    Hi Paul – Thanks for your message & kind offer of bread tags. I would really love them thank you & can put them to great use.
    My postal address is: 16 Silvia Street, Hornsby NSW 2077.
    Many thanks again & Happy Easter!

    • Heather says:

      Hi Virginia,

      just talking today to friends about trying to find a use for bread tags and saw your replies. I have about 200 tags – can you use them? I’m in SA as well so can post them to NSW.

    • Paul says:

      No problems Virginia – will despatch them Tuesday if I can.

      • Virginia Smith says:

        Hi Paul – Wow, what a great package of bread tags I received from you today along with your note. Thank you so much. I’ll definately have to hurry up and put them to use as I am now collecting quite a lot.
        Many thank again & best wishes, Virginia

  45. Virginia Smith says:

    Hi Heather – I sent you a private e:mail also with my postage details. Just wanted to say thank you also for your kind offer of 200 bread tags for my aged residents craft and apologies for not replying sooner.
    Best wishes & thank you again, Virginia

    • Virginia Smith says:

      Hi Heather – Apologies for not thanking you earlier for your package of bread tags which arrived in the mail. I assure you they will be put to great use & thank you again. Best wishes, Virginia

  46. L Brooks says:

    An other idea for bread tabs, if the toe part of your flip flops starts to pull through put one on the bottom side of the flip flop.

  47. Erika says:

    I am looking for bread tags — white specifically — for a project. I am in Iowa in the United States.

  48. Erika says:

    I am looking for bread tags — white specifically — for a project. I am in Iowa in the United States. Thank you for letting me know if you have some!

  49. Ada says:

    Reading through 4 years of bread tag ideas. Pleased to see there is still an interest. Virginia are you in overload for your craft work? I have a jar full if you want them. I live in Sydney. Ada

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