How can I reuse or recycle cardboard banana boxes?

banana boxWe’ve had an email from Iain Porter in which he tells us about the wonder of banana boxes from supermarkets for moving houses:

Supermarkets appear to be more than happy to give away boxes. I made a trip each morning of our packing and got about 20 Banana Boxes – big enough without becoming too heavy, rectangular for neat storage, with optional lids – perfect.

Indeed they are – last time I moved house (about eight years ago now, cor! that’s ages!) I used them and we used another load when helping a friend move earlier this year. With the lids, they’re really quite strong so ideal when the movees are booklovers like we are or when they need to be stacked for storage during transit.

But when, about two years after moving in, I finally finished unpacking all my books, I didn’t really know how to reuse the boxes so just recycled the cardboard – but Iain has an idea for that too:

Rather than buy stylish new boxes from Ikea for storing jumpers etc., we covered the banana boxes with nice recycled paper for cheaper, friendlier, and even nicer results!

(And because there are ventilation holes in the side, the clothes etc. shouldn’t get as musty or moldy as they would in a more sealed box.)

I’d tempted to get some for use on top of our wardrobes for our out-of-season clothes and might decorate them with the same wallpaper and paint as the bedroom for camouflage-a-go-go.

Any more ideas for ways to reuse them?

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8 Responses to “How can I reuse or recycle cardboard banana boxes?”

  1. Bellen says:

    Make a laundry basket by putting bottom in the top – already has hand holes.
    Use for toy storage – make it a game to clean up by tossing in the top hole.
    Make a game, turn several on sides, stack,label with points, toss a bean bag in the hole.
    Indoor train for kids – attach several by tying hand hole to hand hole – let them play

  2. Rob says:

    These boxes are great. I store camping equiptment and emergency supplies in them!

  3. PainChaud says:

    Keep one in the trunk of the car so stuff don’t fly everywhere

  4. Jessica Forsman says:

    Yes, every tine I’ve needed to move they have come in handy, and are extremely sturdy. I hear the apple boxes are better because they are stronger and have no openings for things to fall out of, but they are hard to get apparently. The only bad thing is that I needed to be nagging the grocers in the warehouse when I’ve needed the banana boxes because they are compressed immediately,reused for damaged returns, or used on the floor to display fruit for purchase in.

  5. John Ullmann says:

    Donate empty banana boxes to food banks.
    Why not fill them with food and donate them?

  6. Joke says:

    We use them to store the paper we recycle.
    When they pick up the paper, it’s easy to stack in the truck.
    (in the Netherlands the city picks up the paper to recycle)

  7. says:

    what about the chemicals?

    also i brought some home and one of them had a cockroach hiding inside!!!

    i’m not sure if i want chemical residues in my living space.


  8. Oksana says:

    Store potatoes or onions in them.

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