The distinctive Pringles tube has been branded a “nightmare” by recycling bosses because of the material it is made of.
The Recycling Association says the combination of a metal base, plastic cap, metal tear-off lid, and foil-lined cardboard sleeve make it one of the most challenging items to recycle. So what else could these pesky tubes – subsequently adopted by some other snack manufacturers – be used for?
The used (and clean!) cylinders can be reversioned into toys and food storage for your pets. The owner of two guinea pigs, Franklin and Theodore, makes tunnels for them to play in and stuffs them with hay and treats for the boys to snack on during the day.
A Mumsnet user agrees, and gives the empty tubes to her gerbils. RavenAK said the gerbils loved playing in them and eventually shredded the tubes, so all that was left to do was compost the remains and recycle the metal base.
Vice-provost for education Tanya Stanko used the crisp packaging to create a working Enigma machine with her engineering students at Innopolis University.
The original Enigma machine was used by the Germans during World War Two to encrypt and decrypt messages, but the code was successfully cracked by Alan Turing in 1939.
After the 5p carrier bag charge was introduced in 2015, hoards of plastic carrier bags have plagued our spare cupboards, but crafty bloggers have reversioned their crisp tubes into bag dispensers.
One little boy came up with the idea to make a mini drum kit for the family’s 4 July celebrations, with the addition of a few strips of duct tape to bring it all together.
You may still have those Christmas crackers made of cardboard toilet roll tubes and crepe paper from your nursery days. But this creation takes it up a notch.
Jeanette Ellis has made collections from Pringles cans, such as this nativity scene, on and off for years. Her son says they are “always a hit”.
At the Science Museum in London, staff use empty tubes as part of their rocket show. The packaging teamed with hydrogen gas, matches and oxygen creates a reaction to launch the rockets, which – apparently – makes “quite a loud bang”.
Meanwhile, in 2015 railway blogger Andy Carter calculated how many Pringles you could fit into the 26-mile rail tunnel project, Crossrail. Services – when work is complete – will run as far west as Reading, in Berkshire and as far east as Shenfield, in Essex.
Mr Carter made a number of rough calculations and claims it would take a whopping 844 million cans of Pringles to fill Crossrail.
But I doubt you’d try this one at home.