25 Reuse ideas for a plastic Quality Street Tub

Filed in Blog, Reuse by on October 20, 2014 8 Comments
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reuse ideas quality street tubIn the good old days, Quality Street came in a tin which could be kept for years and reused once the contents were eaten.

Sadly, the brand introduced plastic tubs in 2012, which can’t be easily recycled.

However, Quality Street still has its ardent fans, one of whom contacted me recently.

Jason wrote “I want to know where I can recycle plastic. I have Quality Street boxes. Somerset waste council want me to put in landfill but I don’t want to. Can you help?”

Well I can’t help with recycling, if the council don’t offer hard plastics recycling, but here are 25 fantastic reuse ideas:

25 Reuse ideas for a plastic Quality Street Tub

Give them away

You know what they say – one man’s trash is another man’s treasure. If I had these plastic tubs and didn’t want to reuse them myself, I’d offer on Freecycle. You can be sure they’ll be snapped up.

A local school or playgroup would probably bite your hand off to get their mitts on some tubs with lids to keep their supplies handy. Thanks to Lyn on Facebook for this tip!

Anne-Marie suggested a similar thing – she runs a cookery school so keeps lidded containers like this on hand in case anyone needs one to transport home their goodies. Laurena agreed, she said “Our Food technology dept loves them at school, for the kids who forget to bring something to take their cakes home in.



Keeping tiny toys together such as Sylvanian family, playmobil, transformers pieces, lego or My Little Pony accessories.

When my daughter was young she loved a ‘box of treasures’ filled with anything from old postcards to pieces of ribbon to old stamps. Why not make your own treasure box for the grandchildren?

Crayons – lidded tubs are wonderful for putting kids wax crayons in.

Keep animal treats or bird food airtight so it lasts longer.

Play dough – keeping it airtight stops it going hard (and sticking to the carpet where it will be trodden in forever and a day…).



Shoe cleaning kit – one of these tubs is just the right size for a couple of brushes and tubs of polish.

Loose change box – you’d get quite a stash in there; what will you put your savings towards?

Clothes pegs – who needs a clothes peg bag when you’ve got a free tin?

Gardening – use to store seeds; they’ll stay dry and air tight.

Still in the garden Lyn suggested “make holes in bottom, fill with compost, sew radishes, land cress or pea shoots.”

Over on Facebook, Justin said “Subject to a prototype, it might make an interesting lampshade with a few strategically placed holes.” I think he wins the prize for the most quirky idea!



Don’t look a gift horse in the mouth – you’ve just been given a free cake / biscuit tin!

Store your cookie cutters together to save searching through the drawer next time you bake.


Arts and crafts

These tubs are perfect for keeping tubes of acrylics or water colours together.

Sewing tub – threads, needles, buttons, beads – you’ll know where they are next time.

Stationery – perfect for pens, post its and pencils.

Stella suggests keeping the tins for jigsaw pieces as the cardboard boxes inevitably fall apart in time!


Health and beauty

Hair accessories – all those clips and scrunchies that get lost around the house can now be contained.

Keep spares for your first aid kit such as tubes of cream and boxes of plasters together.


Garage and loft

Christmas tree lights will keep dry and safe and will hopefully work next year if you store them in one of these!

Leads – saves them getting tangled and lost if you put them in a lidded box.

Screws, nails, puppy dogs tails, mini screwdrivers – every man shed needs an old lidded box.

What about you? What have I missed that you would add to the list?

About the Author ()

I am a long time supporter of the Green and Sustainable lifestyle. After being caught in the Boscastle floods in 2004, our family begun a journey to respect and promote the importance of Earth's fragile ecosystem, that focussed on reducing waste. Inspired by the beauty and resourcefulness of this wonderful planet, I have published numerous magazine articles on green issues and the author of four books.

Comments (8)

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  1. I have a sweet tub that I use to store tiny bits of wool in, when I’ve come to the end of a ball and there’s a usable bit left. One day I’ll make a blanket from all those little bits!

    I would also contact the Quality Street people and ask them to think about making their packaging more easily recyclable.

    • Mrs Green says:

      Great idea for all those yarn off cuts – I’m eager to hear what you’ll make from it! I shared an idea in the very last newsletter of this year’s Zero Waste Week I believe. Quality Street contacted me on Twitter saying their packaging was recyclable – but I rather think only the minority of councils will have facilities to collect and reprocess…

  2. Glennis says:

    we are a hospital that would like to collect plastic bottle tops of milk for a charity could you please give me some information on how or who we can contact regarding this please.
    It is in the Bath area.

    • Mrs Green says:

      Hi Glennis, I’m unable to advise you on local collections; I don’t have the resource to keep information like this. Try contacting GHS – they will accept them from you, but you’ll have to get them there…

  3. Andrea hill says:

    I teach line dancing and keep all of my leads for the speakers, microphone and computer in a quality street box that I have had for years. Thus then goes in the end of the bag with my speakers.

    • Mrs Green says:

      Brilliant idea, Andrea – we have loads of leads for transformers and computer peripherals that spill out everywhere – keeping them contained is key!

  4. the polygonal shape of the containers invites a vision of wall art, inside or out–by nailing or gluing the tins/plastictins to a flat surface, you could form a nesting project–indoors for nic-nacs, bobbles, souvenirs, pictures etc..or–outdoors, paint insides and form a very large octagonal eye catcher to hide a fence or distract gaze from an unpleasant compost bin.. birds or insects may visit..

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