Are Rubber Bands Recyclable? (And Ways To Recycle Old Bands)

If you are reading this and you haven’t had anything to do with rubber bands, then you deserve a mention in the Guinness book of records. The thing is, no one can boast of not having used rubber bands, so let’s focus on other things.

Do you ever stop to consider that the rate at which we all use rubber bands may have some environmental effect? Well, whether or not you have done this, this post is for you. Here, we take a look at whether you can recycle your rubber bands. We also consider some salient things about rubber bands that you can’t wait to read about.

So, fasten your belt, dive in!

Can You Recycle Rubber Bands?

The straight answer to this is Yes. You can recycle rubber bands. But, this answer only seems straightforward. The process is much more complicated than it sounds.

Recycling rubber bands is not as easy as recycling other recyclable materials. This, however, should not discourage you from putting your rubber bands aside for recycling.

Many recycling centers have designated processes for recycling rubber bands. All you have to do is package your rubber bands in a paper or plastic bag and place it in your recycling bin. You might want to tag it as a rubber band so the recyclers can know what they are dealing with.

After this, the whole process of recycling is no longer your concern. The recycling centers know how best to do this. Your own is to properly dispose of your rubber bands in the recycling bin and go about your daily activities.

Are Rubber Bands Biodegradable?

Knowing whether your rubber bands are biodegradable would influence a lot of things about how you handle them. For one, you would know whether to worry or not about your frequent use of rubber bands because of the environment.

So, let get to the real deal. Are rubber bands biodegradable? The answer to this is in the affirmative.

If you think about it, almost everything in existence is biodegradable. What makes the difference is just the time that each material takes to biodegrade. Rubber bands are biodegradable, but it would take a lot of time before this occurs.

Generally, experts peg the time for rubber products biodegrading at fifty years. Though this may differ depending on the type of rubber band, it still doesn’t take away so much time.

By and large, your rubber bands would biodegrade, but this would take time to occur. Before this happens, a lot of things may happen. For instance, if your rubber bands are lying fallow in the landfill, the flood could wash them off.  This implies that they can end up in undesired places where animals can consume them.

So, the best thing to do is to recycle your rubber bands or repurpose them. Below, you will find ways to repurpose your rubber bands.

Are Rubber Bands Compostable?

Whether or not you can compost rubber bands is one thing we have deliberated on for a long time. The answer to this seems to elude many people, but trust us to give you the right position on this.

Are Your rubber bands compostable? Well, the answer seems to be in the affirmative. Let’s explain further.

Many rubber bands come for the sap of rubber trees. The implication of this is that it is from the plant, and things that come from plants should not pose too much problem. Well, you may be right, but this is not the absolute truth for rubber bands.

The thing is, you can always toss your rubber bands into the compost bin, but this is only when you have enough time to spare. Rubber bands take up so much time to break down naturally. Although they will finally break down in your compost bin, this would not be at the rate of other materials in your compost bin.

So, what you need to do if you want to compost your rubber bands is to get a separate compost bin. This way, you can always toss your rubber bands into this particular compost bin and wait for whatever time it takes to break down.

That is it about composting your rubber bands. Your rubber bands are compostable. But, if you must compost it, put it in a separate bin to not ruin the other contents in your compost bin.

How Long Does A Rubber Band Last?

In one of your daily conversations, you must have heard that nothing lasts forever. Well, this is true, and it equally applies to rubber bands.

As you might have thought, your rubber bands won’t last forever. But how long do they last? Knowing this would allow you to understand how to manage the rubber bands and preserve them.

First of all, your rubber bands are products of a polymer. This makes them very flexible. Ordinarily, your rubber bands should last up to two years.

This will be possible if you don’t expose it to ultraviolet light, and you do not stretch them too much. Ultraviolet rays generally cause your rubber to break down and begin to dry and finally fall apart.

The best way to save your rubber bands and allow them last longer is to add some natural oil to them. Also, you have to keep it from light, especially ultraviolet light.

Lastly, you have to watch the way you stretch it. Though rubber bands can pull to twice their standard size, this can sometimes weaken them.

So, that’s it. Your rubber bands can last for about 2 years. It can break apart before this time, but you can prevent this from happening by following the life-saving secrets we stated above.

7 Surprising Ways To Recycle Old Rubber Bands

You already know that rubber bands can sometimes be a necessity. This means that you don’t have to get rid of them even if you don’t urgently need them. There are some ways you can recycle your old rubber bands.

Trust us never to leave you hanging. Below, you will find creative ways to recycle and repurpose your rubber bands.

1. Use It To Slow Down How You Dispense Your Soap

This might look like something you hear for the first time. But the truth is, it is possible to use rubber bands to slow down how fast you dispense your soap. How do you do this?

What you have to do is get your rubber band and tie it around your soap dispenser’s bottle neck. The neck is just below the output channel where you press to get soap dispensed. Doing this will automatically reduce the passage of soap to the output sprout.

However, while tying the rubber band, don’t make it too tight to stop the passage of the soap. Remember that the goal of using your rubber band is to save your soap and not to prevent its use. Keep this in mind, and you will be fine.

2. Give Them Out To Schools

If you think you have no other use for rubber bands, you can always pass them on. One of the places you can pass this on to is to a school in your locality. Remember that schools still have constant use of rubber bands for many things. For instance, they can use it to hold books and writing materials together. The kids can also use it in their maths test to make some counts.

So, do not be too worked up about the number of rubber bands in your place. Reach out to that school in your locality and give them out.

3. Use It To Open Jar Lids

You would agree that we find ourselves in some awkward moments. And one of those moments is struggling to open a jar lid. This is no joke for many people, as it takes a lot of time and requires effort.

One way to escape this is to use your rubber band. This way, you simply need to wrap it around your jar lid. Ensure that you firmly do this so as not to lose the rubber band. This way, you can close your lid and put your mind at rest.

When next you need it, it would be easier to open the lid. This way, you can save your time and energy.

4. Use It As A Sealant

Your rubber band can serve as a sealant for many things. You can use it to seal your chips and cereal bags. This is to keep the content fresh always. When using your rubber band as a sealant, ensure you tie it tightly to prevent air from entering what you are sealing. This way, you can be sure that the content in the bag you are packing will remain entirely fresh.

5. Use It To Hold Thing From Sliding Down

If you have things that are often sliding down from where you want them to be, you can use your rubber band to hold them in place. For instance, you can use your rubber band to keep your sleeveless clothes from falling off the hanger. How do you do this, though?

What you need to do is tie some pieces of rubber bands to the edges of the hanger. Ensure the rubber band firmly holds on to the hanger. This way, you will prevent the clothes from sliding down the hanger because you have created a strong barricade with the rubber band.

6. Give Them Out To Post Offices

This should come easy for you. You don’t need an explanation on why post offices would want to make use of rubber bands, do you?

Well, if you do, here is the reason. Due to the number of papers and letters that post offices have to deal with, they need rubber bands to keep letters together. This will allow them to stack the notes together and track them when they need to.

As you can see, rubber bands may not be useful to you, but they help post offices. For this reason, you can decide to give out your post offices. If you think about it, it might be your way of contributing to the community.

7. Use Them To Hold Things Together

Instead of just abandoning your rubber bands, you can use them at home. If you have business cards, you can use the rubber bands to hold them together. You can also use rubber bands to keep your kids’ writing and coloring materials. This can make things look a lot tidier.


Rubber bands are a nice thing to have around you. But then, you may not need them every time. When you find yourself in this situation and do something about the rubber bands, remember what you have read in this post. We have discussed everything you need to pull through with your rubber bands, so it is up to you to do the right thing.

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About Rinkesh

A true environmentalist by heart ❤️. Founded Conserve Energy Future with the sole motto of providing helpful information related to our rapidly depleting environment. Unless you strongly believe in Elon Musk‘s idea of making Mars as another habitable planet, do remember that there really is no 'Planet B' in this whole universe.