Sticky Tape (Sellotape)

What Can I Do With Used Sticky Tape?

Its what holds the world together, at least around Christmas time. But once used, your faithful sticky tape is usually forgotten and abandoned to the bin (sniff). Could we be doing something better with it?
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Reduce

There are many clever ways of wrapping gifts using only a small amount of tape, or even none at all.
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Reuse

It is very possible to reuse some of your sellotape. See tips below
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Recycle

No! As with most sticky things, sticky tape is generally not recycled.
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Bin it!

If you’ve got used tape that’s got things stuck to it, this is your only option.
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Reduce

Using sticky tape undoubtedly makes certain tasks very easy, but its easy to forget that there are alternatives:

  • Gift wrap with string or ribbon: Wrapping without tape from My Plastic Free Life. Just uses ribbon
  • Gift wrap with nothing but paper: Proper origami style from happyfolding.com (warning: long and complicated but really interesting!)

Or of course if you’re stuck for time you can just try to wrap with using as little tape as possible.

Sometimes though you need to make something secure. But you can still get results by reusing old tape! Look in the next section to find out how we have done just this.

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Reuse

In some cases, sticky tape can certainly be reused, it depends on what its stuck to! If its been stuck to plastic or something quite strong, you may find it fairly easy to peel off and it will still keep its stickiness. Weak materials like paper will of course tear or break up and removing them from the sticky tape is fairly impossible.

Our method:

  1. Simply wrap some plastic sheet around a cardboard tube. This is your new reused tape roll!
  2. Any time you get something in the post or from a shop that has a usable length of tape (I’ll leave the definition of ‘usable’ up to you), carefully remove it and stick it on to your roll. You may want to keep separate different types of tape.

Its not that neat but it saves at least some of it from the bin!

Materials reused:

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Recycle

Unfortunately, the adhesives used in sticky tape cannot be processed by recycling plants, so if it can’t be reused the only choice left is to go in the bin. One exception to this is Post-It notes

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