Rubber wristbands were just about everywhere in the early 2000s. The iconic yellow “Livestrong” rubber bracelets, popularized by superstar athlete Lance Armstrong, kicked off a massive trend for them 15 years ago. These trinkets were cheap and easy to produce, highly customizable, and constructed out of long-lasting material such as silicone. They were (and still certainly are) effective tools for advertising and promotion.
In their heyday, you probably received one of these silicone wristbands from events like an outdoor game, rave party, rock concert, or fundraiser. If you’ve kept any of them lying around at home, you might be surprised to find that even the older ones are resistant to fading and wear-and-tear. At first glance, the durable quality of these wristbands may seem like a double-edged sword: their shelf life is much longer than the event they advertised, and they won’t degrade before they go out of fashion. With that in mind, should they be thrown out, should they be given to recyclers, or should they be repurposed for other things?
The first option will mean adding to your community’s flow of waste and having the wristbands occupy space in the already overcrowded landfills. Recycling isn’t that easy an option, either: though silicone products can be depolymerized and remanufactured into other silicone products, the recycling process for them is more time-consuming and expensive than that of plastic or metal, and you may be hard-pressed to find a plant specializing in recycling silicone.
That leaves the third option—reusing them as they are—as the best option. Don’t fret too hard, though—you’ll be surprised at how many opportunities you have to get creative with those hardy little things! Here are 5 of the most popular (re)uses for old rubber wristbands.
Those old rubber wristbands may live on long past their original purpose, but that doesn’t mean they can’t be put to good use. It’s best to look on the flip side of things, and make the most of their strong, flexible qualities!
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