Posts tagged "tubing"

How can I reuse or recycle medical plastic tubing?

We’ve had an email from Janette asking about medical plastic tubing:

I need to know how I might reuse/recycle medical plastic tubing. My husband uses an oxygen tank and the cannula (clear plastic tubing) needs to be changed every two weeks. After the nasal clip is removed, biowaste/garbage – there’s still a ten foot length (3/16″ caliper) of sturdy, clear tubing that I would have to discard. Any ideas?

I live in the USA and the rural county recycling center I use doesn’t recycle this type of plastic.

(3/16 caliper is just under 5mm apparently)

That seems like it would be a really useful thing – the type of thing that would make a welcome addition to any tool kit. Some reuse ideas that spring to mind: using it to (softly) tie plants/trees to supports, wrapped around (and probably glued into place) a tool handle to provide some cushioning and I suspect some clever people could use it for drip-feed watering systems for greenhouses or the like.

It could be used for craft creations in its own right too: I’ve seen people making statement jewellery from tubing before; I’ve been looking at pendant light fittings recently and saw one made from loops of (albeit thicker) tubing; and I wonder if it’s flexible enough to be used for macramé or crochet/knitting – anyone seen any projects that could use lengths of tubing?

(One word of warning: apparently this type of tubing will discolour (yellow) over time when exposed to UV (sun) light.)

Finally, it might be worth containing the medical supply company to see if they’d be willing to take it back for recycling – if enough people ask, they might be compelled to do something.

Any other reusing or recycling ideas?

How can I reuse or recycle metal tubing?

fold up camping chairWe’ve had an email from Greg:

I’ve got some of those fold-up chairs for camping but the metal tubing on one of the legs has snapped. I’m going to keep the seat fabric as a spare but what can I do with the rest of the tubing?

I’m sure a scrap metal dealer would take it in a flash – we have them patrolling our street every few minutes, I’d just have to think about taking it into the garden and they’d appear to take it off me – but obviously reuses are more fun :)

As straight lengths, they’d be great for supporting growing stems in the garden and cut into shorter lengths, you could make a wind-chime thing out of them (I wonder if they’re a wide enough diameter for the wind to whistle through them as well as clanging them together).

Depending how flexible they are/how strong you are, you could also bend them into a spiral to use it as a trivet under pans/hot dishes.

Any other ideas?