Superior Education

Recycling Empty Cones and Spools

  • Recycle
  • Reuse
  • Repurpose

Can I recycle empty cones and spools?

We are occasionally asked: “Are empty spools and cones recyclable?” It's great to to recycle and repurpose! If your local recycling center accepts polypropylene or PP plastics, they can be recycled. Some centers don’t recycle polypropylene, so we recommend calling ahead to confirm with them before you start your trek to the center. The plastic film (shrink wrap) that is on the exterior of our cones and spools is made out of polyethylene terephthalate or PET for short. This is the same material that water and soda bottles are made out of and can also be recycled.

My aunt’s favorite saying of “use it up, wear it out, make it due, or do without” has inspired me to search for ways to personally reuse or upcycle my empty spools and cones. Here are some great suggestions we have received over the years:

  • I wrap my binding around an empty thread cone...I then put it on the upright spool holder...this keeps it under control and keeps my binding clean. - S.S
  • I’ve transformed a used cone into a beautiful angel tree-topper. Spools can be strung to become cute garland to hang on your tree or create a spool wreath! - B.B
  • If anyone is interested in birding, the thread tails can be scattered in your yard in the spring when the birds are nesting and they love to pick these tails up for their nests! I have done this every year with my leftover thread tails and when you dispose of their nest in the fall or winter you will see them woven all through their nests! - R.A
  • If you have kids or grandkids, a fun activity is transforming empty cones into kaleidoscopes! - K.O

There's a lot that can be done with empty cones and spools if you spend a little bit of time being creative.

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