How to Recycle Old Suitcases

Suitcase broken? No problem.

Last Updated on August 8, 2023

Wondering how to recycle old suitcases? I’m here to help. After years of traveling together with your good old luggage, it’s time to part ways with your trusty suitcase. However before you choose to dump your favourite (well, it used to be) and now beaten-up luggage, did you know old suitcases can be recycled? As I’m sure you know, simply throwing items like luggage away means they simply end up in landfill, which does nothing for the planet. If you choose instead to recycle them, the materials can be reused. Even zips, plastic handles and wheels can have a second life.

So let’s take a closer look at how to do it. Next, read how to recycle old beauty products, watches and underwear.

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How to recycle old suitcases

Every part of your suitcase can be repurposed, like the wheels, plastic handles, outer shell, zips, fabric liners, and more, however it’s not the easiest to do. You’ll have to disassemble the suitcase and work out which pieces are recyclable so you can put each piece in the relevant recycling bin. A slightly easier way of recycling a case is to take it to a charity shop if it’s still usable. As suitcases aren’t cheap, they’re really in-demand at second hand stores.

You can also check with your local council, as each place will have different policies. Many don’t offer recycling sadly, but don’t give up. If you live in the US, you can also order a TerraCycle box, send it back and they’ll recycle it for you. Recycling through TerraCycle is also available in the UK, but they don’t recycle suitcases. Lastly, you could try repurposing your suitcase and turning it into a dog or cat bed.

man in bus

How to dispose of old suitcases

If you find the process of recycling your suitcase too difficult, you may need to dispose of it if it’s broken. Depending on the size of your case, you can put it in a bin bag and dispose of it in your bin. If it’s too big, you’ll need to organise a bulky waste collection with your local council.

Ideas for old suitcases

Besides donating part of your suitcases, you can also repurpose them and revamp them into something more useful. Need another storage space for your extra clothes or some knick-knacks? You can use old suitcases as under-bed storage to fit some of your off-season clothes that you need to temporarily take out of your closet.

Another useful hack is turning it into an ottoman or coffee table for a unique piece that you can add to your bedroom or living room. Be imaginative! You can add steel legs that you can purchase at your nearest hardware store or do some basic upholstery if you plan to turn it into a cozy footstool. Depending on how the suitcase looks, you could use it as a plant holder too.