Posts tagged "nylon"

How can I reuse or recycle “disposable” hair nets?

We’ve had an email from Philip, asking about disposable hair nets:

I work in food production (ready meal factory) and have to wear a hair net whenever I’m on the floor. Some staff have proper hats but the rest of us have to have single use hair nets. Management say it’s cheaper but I think it’s very wasteful. Can they be recycled?

Whenever I get hold of one of them, I keep it to reuse at home – single use, schmingle use – when having a big baking or preserving session. (I’m less bothered about having a completely sterile environment and more about keeping my hair out of my face – and my food.) But if I was getting them every day, that wouldn’t really be an option – and they’re not the sort of thing you could pass on to others.

From what I’ve read, that type of hat is typically made out of polypropylene (older style nets are sometimes nylon) so the actually recycling options are very limited to non-existent. It seems like there many be a possibility of textile reclamation but all the information I can find out it is in the US so I’m not sure if there are any companies over here. As for reuses, they’re a bit like last week’s net curtains but not as strong so not suitable for all the ideas for them – and again, if you’re using them every day, they’re quickly going to mount up so no amount of crafts can solve the problem.

I think the key thing here really is to reduce: if it’s simply a matter of cost, you may want to consider buying your own hat so at least you’re not contributing to the problem – they’re not much and I suspect if you could get some other people involved you might be able to push the price down further by bulk buying (or at least sharing out delivery costs). However, from what I’ve read, there is sometimes an issue about not taking protective clothing outside of the sterile environment so it would be worth checking what arrangements (if any) are in place for handling the existing proper hats.

Anyone got any reuse ideas? Or any suggestions on how Philip can lobby his bosses into doing the right thing and getting reusable hats?

How can I reuse or recycle promotional nylon rucksacks?

I had an email from Melanie the other week:

My name is Melanie and I work for an events company so have promo gifts! We have quite a few nylon rucksacks that we would like to recycle but don’t know where we would take them! Can you please let me know if you can help?

We’ve covered reuses for single broken backpacks before but this query is more of a recycling-en-masse one.

Depending on how many is “quite a few”, try offering them on your local Freecycle/Freegle group or offering them to a local scrap store — the latter might not be in a position to use them themselves but they have great contacts with local schools, charities and playgroups who might be able to use them.

If it’s not possible to pass them on for reuse (for example, because they’re damaged stock or because the company who paid for them in the first place would object), you’ll probably be able to find a textile recycling company who would take them. (Depending on the company, they might only take very large quantities of textiles but you might be able to find an intermediary – for example, charity shops are often paid by weight for their bags of “rags”, items they can’t sell themselves.)

Any other suggestions?

How can I reuse or recycle climbing ropes?

climbing-ropeLast week’s post about super thick rope made me think about climbing ropes.

For safety reasons, they have to be replaced regularly – I read someone suggest they are replaced when the outer layer gets to a level of fuzziness comparable to a wool blanket or if they’ve sustained a fall – but that doesn’t mean they can’t still be used for other non-life-risking purposes.

Because they’re a thin but strong, lightweight rope, they’ll be great for a huge number of practical purposes around the home and garden – supporting tree branches, tying down roof racks, generally tying, um, things to other things…

But can they actually be recycled? They’re usually polyamide/nylon but are there any particular places that collect them for recycling?

And has anyone made any fun things with them? I wonder if they could be coiled up to make a fun basket or something… Any ideas?

How can I reuse or recycle dental floss?

dental flossOn our How can I reuse or recycle dental floss packaging? post, Tina asked:

how do you recycle floss?

This may be one of those things that some people will “urrgh” at but it’s only nylon thread really. While I wouldn’t use it for, say, sterile suturing of a wound, I’m sure it would be fine for plenty of tasks after washing off any chunky bits. I can’t think of anything specific right now (my brain is still asleep) but I guess … whatever you’d tie up with a length of nylon thread for.

Anyone got more specific suggestions? Or any creative ideas?

(Photo by carlohh)

How can I reuse or recycle nylon guitar/ukulele strings?

ukeleleJohn was restringing his ukulele (not a euphemism) the other day when he flung the old strings at me, saying “how can I recycle this?” It was a good question ;)

We’ve covered metal guitar strings on the site before but not their nylon counterparts. A lot of the suggestions for the metal ones were jewellery related and I guess that would work here – the thinner ones will be perfect for covering with beads.

Also, like everything else even vaguely string-related in the house, one of the strings immediately became a cat toy – John tied a metal hoop to one end that, as far as the cats were concerned, then jiggled about of its own accord. OMG! HAUNTED HOOP! KILL! KILL! KILL!

Any other suggestions? We get four strings every time John changed them and we know loads of other people who play the uke too so it would be great to reuse them all up.

(By the way, John and I started a fun, silly project late last year, singing Wikipedia articles accompanied by a ukelele: Ukepedia. We’ve not had time to record all the ones we’ve come up with but a few of our friends have – the “Bedfordshire Clanger” and “List of WCW Hardcore Champions” videos are my favourites :) )