Metal Packaging Manufacturers Association (MPMA) research illustrates the nation’s remarkable range of reuses for their favourite tins  

With an ever increasing focus on recycle and reuse, thousands of speciality tins, such as those containing special occasion sweets and biscuits, are being retained and reused by households for a different purpose to their original intent.  

Over half the population has bought or been given a speciality tin with around two fifths of these going on to say that their tins are now being reused in their homes. Of these reusers, the average number of repurposed tins in their homes is three, with most being kept for around seven years.   

The research, commissioned by MPMA, went on to identify the 101 most popular reuses for our favourite tins.  These included food storage, cited by 53 per cent; household items, 46 per cent; DIY items, 35 per cent; grocery items, 26 per cent; toiletries, 15 per cent; and jewellery, 13 per cent.  

In a roundup of 101 of the most popular and specific metal packaging reuses, common contents included garden seeds, loose coins, birthday candles, memory sticks, family medals, tennis balls, dog treats and letters/cards, whilst reuse as lunch boxes or even plant pots is also widespread. 

Looking to the list of 101 uses for old tins, it’s not hard to see why people keep this type of packaging for years as Robert Fell, Director and Chief Executive, MPMA, points out: 

“We all have childhood memories of tins at home, whether they’re Christmas sweets and biscuits, tea and coffee caddies, or special occasion wines and spirits, and one thing specialty tins have in common is that they are highly decorated and imaginative containers with clever finishes such as beautiful embossing or spot varnishing. They are all designed to be reused indefinitely, are perfect for housing numerous household items and as such are much used and often become treasured family heirlooms.  

“Reuse is once again becoming the new norm in households.  With an ever-increasing focus on managing waste, any packaging that can be kept and reused over and over again will be a hit with consumers and speciality tins hit that spot. 

“It’s been fascinating to talk to people about the endless possibilities for reusing tins in the home, and many will recognise their own uses in our list of 101, alongside discovering ideas for further metal packaging reuse in your own home”. 

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