How can I reuse or recycle till receipts & their rolls?

We’ve had an email from Roger:

I was wondering Have you ever featured Till receipts on your website, I work in a supermarket and at least once a day i ‘run out’ of till receipt paper and have to replace it, But i’m sure there is at least 10% of the paper still on the roll, and if you add this up to all the tills in a store that’s a lot of wastage.

I like to keep mine to one side until a parent with small child come along and donate it as some colouring in paper, or use it to write class notes but i was wondering if you know of any recycling schemes for en mass collection or even if the paper is recyclable full stop (it has a glossy finish)?

There is also a sturdy plastic tube as well that you can glue together to make a pen holder, but there are only so many pens in the world.

When I used to work at supermarkets, back in the day, we used to keep the end of the rolls for notes – break times if nothing else – but the plastic rolls were just slung in the bin.

Receipt rolls used to all be thermal paper – like the old fax paper – and that can’t be recycled – but I wonder if that’s changing now (most of the supermarkets I’ve been in recently have new printers, to either do double-sided receipts or to print it all at the end) – anyone know? If they still are thermal paper, we’re be looking for reuses rather than recycling suggestions.

As for the sturdy plastic rolls, I don’t know of any recycling schemes off hand but I’ll contact some of the big chains to see if they do anything. Aside from the logistics of returning them, it doesn’t feel like there is anything in the way of stopping them being reused for the same purpose, since they don’t exactly change or get damaged during their roll. Anyone know of any schemes to reuse them? Or have any suggestions to reuse them elsewhere?

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12 Responses to “How can I reuse or recycle till receipts & their rolls?”

  1. Linda says:

    plastic inner- threading or stacking children’s toy.

  2. Jim says:

    We used to donate all of our cardboard tubes to schools for their hamster and gerbil cages.

  3. Karmae says:

    With our ever expanding bodies, this stuff is ideal for altering paper patterns for sewing. I also use it for quick and dirty stabilizer with machine sewing.

  4. The size and length could be very suitable for bookmarker strips.

  5. chez says:

    Shred and add to the compost heap.

  6. Melinda says:

    A friend of mine used to write letters to friends on the ends of rolls of such paper. It has a scroll effect as one reads it. Unorthodox, but fun.

  7. kfh54 says:

    35 or so years ago i made my mum (after sending her out of the room of course) a shopping list holder as seen on Blue Peter, which used till roll type rolls of paper – and it is still in use today. a piece of hardboard about the size of a DL envelope – covered in sticky backed plastic, it goes without saying; two holes drilled through at each of the short ends (by dad); at one end, a length of string threaded through these holes and the centre of the paper roll then ends loosely tied together, to hold the roll and enable the whole contraption to be hung up on the kitchen cupboard door; and a strip a bit longer than the width of the paper roll cut from a washing up bottle attached with paper fasteners at the other end, to thread the paper underneath and allow lists to be neatly ripped off. not sure my poor descriptive skills are fully conveying the beauty of this design – despite my unbounded enthusiasm this was the one and only Bllue Peter creation i ever managed to actually replicate and, sad to say, i remain terribly proud of its functionality and longevity!

  8. Alex says:

    I always use receipts to write shopping lists or notes on, i.e. in place of post-its

  9. Thomas says:

    the plastic tubes – I was thinking they would make a great handle for a kite string, also a pencil or pen goes through them so they could be used for a long wheel or an elf’s rolling pin or even some kind of roll for string, the string could be taped to it and wound and unwound from the tube, much like the paper that was once on the roll.

  10. Jim Hewlett says:

    I’d advise against re-using or recycling thermal paper (fax or till rolls) as they may contain Bisphenol A which is toxic. There are some ‘recycled’ rolls made, but whether they have a significantly reduced toxicity I do not know. My information may be out of date, but it’s better to be safe. You may want to limit your contact with this stuff anyway, though it could be difficult if your job is at a till.

  11. I am an multi medium artist and I have been experimenting them as beads for the unconditional necklaces that I make. I have also used them as a model for my digital photography art. I am using them as just the way they are. Not just with the black colored ones. I also use electrical tape to decal them on to the rolls. Mostly with geometric shapes.

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