Can widgets be recycled ?

A widget is the little plastic gizmo which is inserted into beer cans (or at least into Guinness cans) which enables the smooth creamy head on the beer when it is poured. (One of the top 10 inventions of all time, btw, but I digress …)

The thing is, I am punctilious about recycling my Guinness cans, but I read on Wikipedia that these widgets cannot be recycled, and that they should be removed before putting the cans into the recycle bin.

Now, it is easy enough to slice open an empty Guinness can and remove the widget, but is it really necessary ?

And, as a supplementary question, assuming you did amass a quantity of these widgets, can you think of any secondary use for them ?

I used to work at a recycling plant, and we recycled soft plastic along with aluminum, copper, gold, and just about anything else that crossed our hawse. But in this case, the plastic will just melt and be skimmed off as an impurity when the cans are melted down.

Recycle them to help pay for your liver cirrhosis treatment? Seriously, that’s a good question because I adore Guinness Stout and always wondered myself what I could use those little plastic things for.

Ouch, too close to the target …;);):wink:

The other recycling issue I have is with Pringles cartons, these things are just too beautiful to be stuck in the trash, with their transparent lids and all … there has to be a way to redeploy them …

Yeah, that was pretty low. Call it keyboard Aspergers on my part - gomen.

There is. A Pringles can makes a great Yagi antenna for an 802.11b wireless network. There are more efficient designs out there, but you can’t beat the cost of parts for the Pringles cantenna variant.

I’ve seen a couple of different widget designs, but as far as I can tell, they’re made from a single type of plastic resin (probably polypropylene) - which is recyclable where markets exist for it - doesn’t really matter if it’s got traces of beer inside, as it would be shredded and rinsed as part of the process.

As far as upcycling is concerned, there must be dozens of uses for the spherical ones - fishing floats (thread them on a wire, loop the ends, then seal the wire/widget junction with silicone), garden cane toppers (drill the hole a little larger and pop them on pointy things that might otherwise put your eye out), Christmas light balls (drill the hole just big enough to slip over plain LEDs on a cheap set of lights, and you’ve got pretty ball-style lights), etc…