How can I reuse LOTS of florists’ ribbon?

Nicky has emailed to ask how she can recycle:

Almost 100 kilometres of 2″ wide yellow florists ribbon. Unravelled and of varying lengths – very long to short pieces. Currently in 5 large industrial bags.

Wow, that’s a fair bit of ribbon! My first thought would be to offer it to a local scrap store – they collect unwanted materials from businesses and the like, and redistribute them to local schools, community groups and crafters for upcycling & repurposing. Many will collect suitable materials from businesses too, so it’s worth a shot.

Another option would be to offer it on Freecycle/Freegle – it’s unlikely that anyone would want all five bags but a few people might be willing to take a bag each, for their own craft/redistribution purposes.

As for actually recycling it, most florists’ ribbon is made of polypropylene (plastic number 5), which can be recycled so a plastics recycling company may be interested in it. (I don’t know how much 100km of ribbon weighs – most recycling companies like a minimum of around a tonne) I don’t have any particular recommendations for Nicky though – anyone know any plastic recycling companies around London?

Any other suggestions for ways to reuse it, recycle it or pass it on? Preferably ideas suitable for reusing/recycling 100km of the stuff rather than individual craft suggestions.

(Photo by michaelaw)

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6 Responses to “How can I reuse LOTS of florists’ ribbon?”

  1. Andrea says:

    In our area, yellow ribbons/bows are associated with bringing our soldiers home. Perhaps there’s a local organization that supports military families and arranges homecomings? Can you imagine coming home and seeing 100km of ribbons in your town?????

  2. Go ribbon bombing instead of yarn bombing? You could make some tress look very pretty with that amount of ribbon!

  3. Melinda says:

    I agree with the homecoming theme and it was my first thought, too. Having them on hand for the return of a large group would be a great sight.

    The custom comes from a song that was popular a while back- Tie a Yellow Ribbon Round the Old Oak Tree- lyrics can be looked up online- they’re sweet. The homecoming in the lyrics was not a military one- so I would think that the yellow ribbon can apply to any homecoming- for someone returning from a hospital, from working abroad, or as in the song, from prison.

    Ribbons in general can be used to mark an place where a party is happening, making it easier to find.

  4. anna says:

    If you don’t find personally any use for it, sell it (ebay it, or donate it, or freecycle it).
    That’s quite a bit of ribbon, and it should be easy to sell. 100 km (over 60 miles) of ribbon would be quite a bit of material for any purpose – florists, weddings, torturing full forests of ‘patriotic’ military-minded trees in US, or any traditional or non-traditional crafts.

  5. Medeea says:

    That could be used to make bags, purses. Take a look here:

    IKEA has some bamboo place mats. I’m sure they are easy to replicate.

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