Posts tagged "styrofoam"

How can I reuse or recycle medical supplies/packaging?

We’ve had an email from friend of Recycle This and frequent commenter Bobbie:

I’m attaching a photo of a medication shipment I get every 3 months. The medicine has to be refrigerated and so that in itself creates all this waste. Please ignore the bookmark though, it is used to cover some private information. The syringe does not have ml markings on it, so I can’t use it for other things that have to be measured.

Of course, I want to know everyone’s idea(s) of how I can repurpose all this packaging into something useable. I already use the styrofoam boxes for other things and given many away, but frankly the size inside is pretty small 6″Wx8″Lx6″D (about 15cmWx20cm Lx15cmD) and can’t hold anything but tiny bottled drinks. I have used it as a lunch pail though.

Many creative people read your blog and I can’t wait for their ideas to pour in. I really like the useful ideas. Thank you very much and hugs to you for all the wonderful posts.

(Click on the picture to see a bigger version.)

My first idea for the styrofoam was a mini-cool box for picnics but it sounds like they might be too small to be much good for that — and how many of those would you need anyway? Any other suggestions?

A syringe could be used for refilling hand cream/moisturiser tubes from bigger tubes (as we discussed here) or tabasco sauce bottles – but again, you’d only need one or two for that – so what can be done with the rest?

How can I reuse or recycle beanbag filler?

beanbagWe’ve had a message on the Suggestions page from Jing:

Help! I have a beanbag which has flattened over the years and so I want to know a) what recycled stuff to refill fill it with and b) what to do with the useless little squished styrofoam bits.

Craft suggestions, if there are any, might be helpful for other people but please can I have suggestions that don’t mean I have to handle the styrofoam; I have a deep and ridiculous fear of the stuff and can’t bear touching it, looking at it, or the squeaky noise it makes when handled. Odd, I know, but as fears go it’s pretty harmless.

Yes, the feel and sound of the styrofoam balls is pretty ick-worthy – but those little foam things are surely useful for something…

In the (admittedly not many) flattened beanbags I’ve seen, the flattening tends to be one of two problems: either the bag has lost some filler or, particularly in the case of more structured footstool-esque beanbags, the fabric has lost its tautness and gone floppy. It doesn’t tend to be the filler that’s the problem – because the balls are so springy and tiny. Adding some more filler or reducing the size of the beanbag would solve the first problem, but the latter would need a new cover – essentially making a new beanbag for the old filler.

As for other uses, I’ve used beanbag filler for juggling balls but the styrofoam stuff doesn’t really have the right weight to it to be used on its own in there. It would be ok in (well sealed) soft toys though.

Some people use it in potting soil to aerate it – instead of perlite – but there are pollution/chemical leakage issues with that so I wouldn’t recommend it.

Any other suggestions? Any suggestions on recycled things that could be used in the place of more shop-bought filler?

How can I reuse or recycle styrofoam containers?

Styrofoam containerWe’ve had an email from Renee, who left just about a billion re-use suggestions around the site a couple of weeks ago (thanks Renee!):

How can I reuse Styrofoam cuts/containers and things? I don’t buy anything that comes with this junk but find it by the road and on the beach all of the time. I’d like to re-use it in some useful way.

I’m presuming that Renee means the stuff like type of “clam-shell” styrofoam containers that most major chain fast-food restaurants stopped using a few years ago (…I think – correct me if I’m wrong) but which are still used by a lot of independent take-out food places.

While researching this post, I found there is a lot of more eco-friendly starch/sugar-based clam-shell packaging around these days – but based on my experiences with take-out places around here at least, the nasty plastic stuff is still pretty common. So any re-use ideas?

(On a related subject, we’ve already covered flat-ish meat/veg trays & shaped fruit ones that are usually made of styrofoam or something similar, and other foam-like packing materials.)

(Photo by, coincidentally, another Renee, Renee Comet)

How can I reuse or recycle … foam packing ‘peanuts’?

Packing foam peanutsA few years ago, a neighbour of ours decided to make it ‘snow’ in her front garden by spreading from packing foam all over the place. Then, thoughtfully, she didn’t brush it up after Christmas and instead left it to get blown by the wind until the whole street was covered.

I bring this up now because we found half a dozen of the little gems in the compost heap yesterday and it enraged me anew.

So any suggestions what my neighbour could have done with the foam instead of “decorating” our street?

(Photo by Daino_16)