How To: Recycle and Reuse Your CD Cases

At Bags Unlimited we understand that materials need to be properly disposed of. It’s important to us and you to recycle in a green way! Many people may opt to use binders for their many CD’s instead of dealing with dozens or hundreds of clunky and fragile cases. Check out this great list of tips and tricks for recycling and up-cycling your old jewel cases!

CD Binders and Pages

Our CD Binder holds 60 CDs. They are sturdy, high-quality binders and are extra wide to accommodate our CD binder pages that are made exclusively by Bags Unlimited. These binder pages allow storage of the CD, booklet and tray card in the same pocket!

What to do with those cases?

  1. Donate your old CD, DVDs and tapes to a secondhand store or music reseller for reuse. Even if the items are scratched, it’s likely they can be repaired and resold. This obviously won’t be an option if you’re getting rid of blank or burned CDs and VHS tapes.
  2. Use them for a DIY art project. Pinterest is a great source of inspiration. You can cut up old CDs and add the sparkly pieces to candle holders, jewelry, mirrors, even homemade disco balls. Add stickers and use them for coasters, or add clockworks to make wall-mounted time pieces. Flashy CDs are also great for scaring away birds or other critters intent on pillaging fruit trees and vegetable gardens.
  3. You can dump your old optical discs, DVDs, and jewel cases in one of the handy recycle bins at Target or Best Buy
  4. Mail your media to a company like the CD Recycling Center of America or GreenDisk. Make sure to remove any paper sleeves, as these can be recycled with other paper. CD jackets are office paper, and VHS tape sleeves are paperboard.
  5. Amazon allows you to trade old CDs in good condition for Amazon gift cards. Check with these companies to find out their shipping policies. Some will pay for your postage; others will not
  6. Find a drop-off location for CDs and tapes near you using the Recycling Locator.
  7. The blog Crooked Brain has 25 great ideas for using old jewel cases to create things like light fixtures, seedling protectors for the garden and picture frames.

Ideas for crafts

  1. Mosaic mirror

Your old CDs and DVDs can be cut up and used to add some sparkle to almost anything. After you’ve cut your discs into small pieces, use them to create a mosaic pattern on drab-looking picture frames, flower pots or mirrors.

Not sure how to get started? Check out this handy mosaic mirror tutorial from Cut Out and Keep. The crafty blogger simply cut her discs into square-shaped pieces and attached them in a solid pattern to turn a discount-store mirror into a fun and functional decor piece. To tone down the glitz a bit, try a partial mosaic like this one from Cut Out and Keep contributor Ada B.

2. Jazzed-up jewelry

Craving a bit of bling but don’t have the cash for diamonds? Ditch the faux gems, and create flashy and fab jewelry from your old CDs and DVDs instead. Making jewelry from trash may sound like a challenge, but it’s way easier than you’d think. This simple tutorial from Sew and So blogger and Crafting a Greener World contributor Becky Haas will have you looking like a million bucks in no time.

3. DIY purse

If you’re looking for a conversation-starting clutch for your next night on the town, skip the thrift store dollar bin-diving and make your own from an old DVD case.You can create a DVD clutch that mirrors book clutch inspired by the bag Natalie Portman rocked at the premier of Black Swan.

While Portman’s clutch retailed for more than $1,200, yours will be virtually free! All you’ll need is an old case, a round mirror, some fabric and inspiration!

This can be applied to old CDs too! Grab a clutch and get your super glue gun and ad some awesome embellishment!

6. Jewel case wall art

Whether you’ve ditched CDs altogether or simply packed them into storage books, the leftover jewel cases can be a disposal nightmare. Most recycling centers don’t accept these cases for recycling, meaning they often end up in the trash (or piled on top of your entertainment center).

Combat the clutter by using some of your old jewel cases to create surprisingly-chic wall art for your kitchen. Featured in Country Living magazine, this basic tutorial from Amit Gupta and Kelly Jensen – authors of Photojojo!: Insanely Great Photo Projects and DIY Ideas – will help you convert about 20 jewel cases into a mosaic-like mural that’s sure to turn heads.

While jewel cases are made out of plastic, there are still ways to recycle and reuse them. For those who like to replace their cases with a more earth friendly option, Bags Unlimited offers replacement sleeves that are guilt free. 

CD Paper Sleeves

Selection of Paper and Tyvek® Sleeves for CDs, including various colors, with and without flap, with and without window, polylined and double pocket.

CD Cardboard Jackets, Plain

Use cardboard CD JACKETS as a replacement for jewel cases, or for promotions and giveaways.

Univenture Sleeves for CDs

UNIVENTURE SLEEVES utilize Safety-sleeve® material, which is a non-woven polyester clean-room material. The fibers suspend the CD above the material while allowing small dirt and debris particles to fall to its base and become trapped, away from the disc surface, preventing scratches.