How can I reuse or recycle parchment paper / aluminium foil boxes?

clingfilm250.jpgWe’ve had an email from Emily, asking about “wax paper/ parchment paper / aluminum foil boxes”:

It seems like they would be good for doing something more with, considering the long jagged edge / blade and all.

Funnily enough – and proof that everyone out there is READING MY MIND – I was thinking about this just the other week. My grease-proof paper box has plastic coating on the jagged edge, which makes it better for tearing but worse for recycling. Grr.

So any suggestions for reusing them – whether metal or plastic, or just a cardboard box?

And what about reducing them in the first place – anyone know of any particular companies that make refill rolls to save getting the whole new box each time? I seem to recall that some supermarket value brand in the UK is box-less but I can’t remember which one – and suspect that’s just wrapped in plastic instead anyway.

(Photo by Ilmari Karonen, c/o Wikipedia)

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13 Responses to “How can I reuse or recycle parchment paper / aluminium foil boxes?”

  1. karen says:

    idea for old foil box- if you can get the scary sharp cutter-edge off, maybe you could use it as a storage container for spaghetti? about the right length, sturdy, somewhat smush-proof, just put a rubber band around it to keep it closed…

  2. PainChaud says:

    …or to keep anything that is long and thin….straws…pipe cleaners…

  3. Di says:

    If you can remove the sharp cutting edge you could maybe cover the box with paper or fabric and store knitting needles in it.

  4. Renee L says:

    I, too, have wondered about this! Good ideas.

  5. sami says:

    it’s pretty easy to just tear off the cutting edge. wear knit/gardening gloves if you’re a scaredy cat, and be careful. Use a razor blade on the glue if it’s giving you difficulty. I made a miniature for school and i snipped off a piece of the jagged strip and hot-glued it to a bit of toothpick to make a cute kitchen knife (it’s sticking out of a piece of “bread” made of clay!)

  6. Anonymous says:

    Group a few of them together, and you could make a nice organizing tray for the kitcen (wooden spoons, etc) or office (pens, pencils, etc)

  7. fufunk says:

    you can come up with all the little ideas but we american have to start recycling our own materials and not sell them to other countries that recycle them and sell them back to america.

  8. Anon says:

    Ive been thinking of ways to re-use the serrated metal strip also. So far I came up with:

    -wrapping it around something cylindrical and make a weak saw bit for the drill. Can be used to cut circles out of thin material.

    -use a small piece of it and attach to a shelf or work bench for quickly cutting string.

    -fold it up and keep it in a survival kit. Sometimes a tiny weak saw is better than nothing.

    -attach to the end of a tube to make an apple-corer.

    -use for creating lines and patterns in clay sculpture.

    -attach to a ruler to make a saw.

    -attach in a circle to a handle and create a brush similar to a horse brush. Could be used like sandpaper for scraping surfaces and removing difficult layers of unwanted coating.

    -bend small pieces in the right shape to make home-made picture hangers.

    -use in place of a metal strip for attaching two things. Although it would have to be some application where the serrated edges did not interfere or cause danger to your sensitive little body parts lol. Perhaps attach it to a spindle and create a kinetic wind sculpture like below

    / | / /
    / | / / /
    / / | / /
    / / | / / /
    / / /| / /
    / / / | / / /

    • Anon says:

      Ok my ASCII art failed. Hopefully you get the idea. Picture a side view of an empty spindle with the serrated strips going from one end circle to the other, but diagonally so they possibly catch wind and spin better. Maybe even put a twist in the metal strip for more surface to wind ratio.

  9. Anonymous says:

    How is that recycling???

  10. septic tank says:

    Just burn them. The soot is great compost.

  11. Use the entire assembly! Don’t throw any of it away or tear it up. Simply take the core, cut and measure an identical length of wrapping paper from a larger roll with a bread knife or lightweight handsaw. (Ideal for Christmas wrap) unwind the paper from the cut length, while spooling it onto the used core. Once the used core is full of wrapping paper, place it back into the aluminum foil box and use this paper to wrap smaller gifts without a lot of cutting. The straight serrated edge will allow you to tear off the right size piece.

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