Quick Recycling Tip: How to Recycle Cardboard Wrapping Paper Tubes

In Recycling, Uncategorized by Matty Byloos3 Comments

This post is part of an attempt to do something like 100 recycling tips for damn near anything in something close to, anyway, 100 days. We’ll see how that goes. When the 100 Recycling Tips are all published here on Easy Ways to Go Green, we’ll do a master list so that every link exists on one single page for everyone to be able to link over to, or to use as a reference guide when questions on how to recycle different things in your life inevitably come up.

How to Recycle 100 Common Things: #18 Recycling Cardboard Wrapping Paper Tubes

How to Recycle Cardboard Wrapping Paper Tubes

How to Recycle Cardboard Wrapping Paper Tubes

There’s nothing wrong with asking a silly recycling question every now and again — it just shows you’re thinking about it more, which is great. So those round cardboard tubes you end up with when you’re done with a roll of wrapping paper? Should be pretty simple, right? They’re cardboard, they get recycled.

This is an especially fun one if you have kids and want to teach the ethic of Re-use as a handy form of recycling. There are literally hundreds of things you can do, craft-wise, with cardboard inner tubes from toilet or wrapping paper rolls. If you don’t have kids, then consider collecting your wrapping paper inner tubes and donating them to a local school in your neighborhood, where they’re certain to be put to good use in the classrooms.

Great ideas that we discovered in this mini-search included flattening portions of the tubes and converting them into knife and cutlery holders; using them to protect or to store documents that can be rolled up, such as diplomas; keeping them involved in holiday-oriented activities by using the rolls as a way to wind up your strands of Christmas-tree lights; wrap the inner tube with plastic wrap to prevent any staining, then roll your napkins, table liners or table cloths around the tubes to prevent any fold marks from appearing on the fabric. Or simply just place the cardboard into the paper recycling bin or into the compost pile in your backyard or under the sink.

One important thing to consider — Check to see just how thick the walls of the cardboard inner tubes are. If the walls of the tubes are thicker than 1/4 inch, the pulper may not be able to break it down — so before simply binning the inner tubes, consider calling your local Curbside Recycler.

Helpful Links on Recycling Cardboard Wrapping Paper Tubes:

Search by “Cardboard Tubes” and “Your City Name or Zip Code” at Earth 911 and find the closest recycling center near you.

Check out our Ecocycle, for information on recycling cardboard inner tubes.

Quick ideas on Craft Projects from About for recycling cardboard inner tubes.

An article on Green Living tips for what to do with cardboard inner tubes.

Recycle This UK offers some tips for those looking to re-use and recycle paper inner tubes. And a second article here.

Make Stuff on crafty options and things to do with holiday wrapping paper tubes.


  1. Recycling is something that we need to be continually questioning… how can I?

    It’s only as we each do what we can that we will make a difference.

    Good question.

  2. We had a couple of cardboard tubes that were great for the young boys to send their cars down and along the hallway. Lots of fun for them!

  3. Good things I read this before throwing out all those cardboard tubes leftover from Christmas. I have at least 10 and Im sure they would be well-used @ a local school. Thanks for sharing!

Leave a Comment