How can I reuse or recycle plastic handicap car parking tags?

Ages and ages ago on the Suggest An Item page, Carolyn asked about reusing handicap parking tags – but I missed it until Raynor recently comment last week. Sorry – not sure how it slipped by me! Anyway, better late than never, Carolyn asked:

Every two years my husband’s blue handicap tags for the vehicles expire. The county gives him new ones at no cost. What can we do with the expired tags, made of heavy but flexible plastic? They are about 3.5″ x 6.75″ plus another 2.5″ for the hook at the top.

Raynor suggested cutting them into strips and using them as plant markers in the garden/allotment, since they’ll be weather proof.

Philip also had a suggestion: “I’d put them with your tools and they will come in handy sooner or later.” I imagine that’s what we’d do with them too – I always need stuff like that when I’m filler-ing holes before painting. Speaking of painting, last week I was doing some painting-as-art painting rather than DIY and I could have used something like that as a mixing palette (I ended up using some old plastic packaging instead but it was always to hold).

At this time of year, my seed stash is full to bursting and I like to organise it by sowing date – those tags would be just about the right size to use as dividers in my seed box — and would work much better than the too small bits of cardboard I’m using now.

Flat pieces of heavy yet slightly flexible plastic are useful as dough scrappers when baking or doing any similar crafts (like salt dough or even clay pottery) where you need to scrap your material from the worksurface sometimes.

Finally, one more suggestion from me, ask your county/council if they’ll take them back for recycling. Everyone with the tags in the area will be in a similar position and will need to dispose of them some how – depending on the type of plastic, they might find it easier to get them recycled in bulk than someone relying on consumer recycling services.

Any other suggestions? What would you do with them?

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4 Responses to “How can I reuse or recycle plastic handicap car parking tags?”

  1. Karmae says:

    If you are crafty you can use it as the rigid bottom for a purse or tote bag you make. I cover the plastic bit with something to fill it out a bit (scrap fabric or quilt batting and then stich a cover over it. It makes a
    nice purse bottom and helps the bag keep its shape without adding too much wieght.

  2. Attila says:

    If you are in the UK, though you are supposed to send them back to the issuing authority (County Council, in my case) because there is a lot of misuse of them. Only someone looking carefully would see if they were expired, so they want your old ones back. What they do with them is anyone’s guess. And quite right too; there’s too much abuse of disabled parking, misused badge or none at all; shoot the rotters, that’s what I say! (Oh no, if they survived they’d need a disabled badge………dismounts hobby horse)
    Question: how do I recycle a hobby horse? ;-)

  3. Karmae says:

    That makes sense. Sadly there are also other kinds of other laminated things that can be used for the bottoms of bags.

  4. Beccie says:

    Hello, Beccie here. I would use these as book marks and again give them as gifts. You can paint them any color and get creative by painting designs or stamping them, again that part is endless and only stopped by your creative thought process. I would cut them in half and make 2 out of 1 book markers. I would personalize them for each gift receiver. Also if you look at some of the other ideas that I have responded too, they can be used like the lids of the plastic containers. Good luck and let me know how it works out for you. Beccie

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