Can you recycle cellophane wrap? While plastic bags are recyclable in most communities, cellophane wrap seems to be another story altogether. In most communities, if the plastic makes a crinkly noise when crunched up, it can NOT be recycled and must be thrown in the trash instead.
Crinkly cellophane gift wrap has grown in popularity these past fifteen years or so as a festive way to decorate a gift basket. It also seems to be the packaging material of choice for a number of grocery store chains who use cellophane to wrap their breads and other bakery products. Because cellophane can’t be recycled, it’s really best to avoid buying or even giving things wrapped in cellophane wrap in the first place. However, for those times it can’t be avoided, keep reading to discover some innovative uses for used cellophane wrap.
At our house, I rinse out used cellophane bread bags, line dry them, and then use it for shipping my Christmas and birthday presents. Crunched up cellophane does an excellent job of cushioning gifts and unlike crushed newspaper, hardly weighs a thing which helps to keep those shipping rates down.
Crumpled up cellophane wrap works especially well for cushioning hand made sweets and cookies inside their containers.
Use for decorative painting
Painting a wall and want to add some texture? Use crumpled up cellowrap to apply a second layer of paint over the base coat. For a terrific effect, use a contrasting paint color.
Crumpled up cellophane wrap can be used to add texture to any wood, paper, concrete, or plaster surface. Texture is a terrific way to camouflage imperfections in walls and on furniture.
Reuse it for wrapping
If you’ve received a cello wrapped gift basket, gently remove the contents from the basket and save the basket, stuffing, and cellophane wrap for making a custom gift basket of your own for Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day or Easter.
Create sound effects
Performing a school play? Stage hands use the sound of crinkling cellowrap to replicate the sound of a crackling fire.
Cellowrap can also be used to stuff fabric sculptures and to give a little body to stage costumes & props. Since cellowrap does melt at high temperatures, it shouldn’t ever be used as stuffing in children’s play toys.
There’s all sorts of wonderful ways that used cellophane can be used for children’s crafts. One of our favorite projects is to make a piece of stained glass using different colored scraps of cellophane. To make a piece of “stained glass”, create a design on a piece of card stock using a thick black marker. Cut out the black outline and the space between the black lines, and glue in pieces of cellowrap using a spray glue or glue pen.
The next time you receive a gift basket all wrapped up in cellophane, don’t throw it out! Save it instead for one of these many innovative uses.