How can I reuse or recycle short, narrow plastic tubes?

So after the chicken killing on Friday night, we spent Saturday playing with pig guts. It was an unusual weekend.

We were playing with hog parts because we were on a sausage making course at Old Sleningford Farm in North Yorkshire. It was a very interesting and fun course in a lovely location – I’d heartily recommend it to any sausage fans or just people wanting to try a new skill. Rachel & Martin, who run the course, are lovely – keeping us delightfully fed and watered the whole time we were mincing meat then squishing it into “casings”.

Rachel & Martin recently moved to using “ready spooled” casings for their sausages – they cost a little more but save a whole lot of time because they come “spooled” on narrow plastic tubes rather than in loose hanks (imagine how knotted hanks of yarn can get, how awkward it is to unravel them sometimes; now imagine that with pig guts instead of yarn). At one point during our group making 25kg of sausages, there were a number of the spools on the table – and Martin wondered aloud how they could be reused or recycled. Like a pork spattered recycling superhero, I suggested that I might know a friendly internet community who could come up with some ideas… :)

They’re about 30cm (1ft) and the hog casing ones are just over 1cm (half an inch) in diameter. I realise, like with chicken feathers, these aren’t something everyone will have to reuse/recycle – but any suggestions?

I guess suggestions of particularly relevance to small scale sausage producers/smallholders/foodies would be best as they’re the ones most likely to have the tubes in the first place.

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3 Responses to “How can I reuse or recycle short, narrow plastic tubes?”

  1. Sorry, Louisa, no answer to this one but on a similar vain, there are a lot of plastic tubes being wasted with a new type of Ice cream dispenser, the icecream for each cone comes in a plastic tube about 6 cm long by about 3 cm and is then squezzed into a cone by a machine. I first saw it in Prague and then more recently locally to me in Birkenhead, I thinks it is Cornetto.

  2. Bobbie says:

    I recently read a hint in Garden Gate magazine that uses a similar pipe for keeping grow bags watered (these are the ones that you plant, then hang on your porch). You small poke holes all around the tube with a drill, then bury it in the soil in the bag. When you add water to the plant the little holes dispense it evenly though the soil. Great idea I thought and I’m sure I have a piece of piping around here somewhere.

    • louisa says:

      *smacks head* I knew the tubes reminded me of something!

      I’ve seen “watering systems” for pots like the one Bobbie describes and ones where the tube lets the garden water into a reservoir at the bottom of the (shallower) container so the plant can suck up the water as needed rather than it draining through/evaporating from the soil.

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