5 Ways to Reduce Cable Tie Waste in Your Home or Business

By: CableOrganizer®

cable ties

Some people use an extraordinary amount of cable ties in their home or business. They are versatile and easy-to-use cable management solutions that can be implemented in applications beyond wires too, from gardening to childproofing cabinets. Using them for non-traditional projects is one way to extend their lives, but how else can you ensure the sustainability of a zip tie, which is frequently a one-time-use item?

In this day and age when items are being recycled, reused, and upcycled (that’s when they are implemented in a project that increases the original item’s value), how can you improve a cable tie’s life cycle? CableOrganizer® has provided you with five ideas below to make these handy cable management products more sustainable.

1. Releasable Cable Ties: Some people have mastered the art of making one-time-use nylon cable ties reusable, explaining on blogs and videos how they’ve unlocked cable ties. That takes patience, determination, and time on your hands…and it may not always work. Attempting to reopen normally disposable cable ties isn’t for everyone. For example, if you’ve cut a single-use cable tie (which is frequently done), you can’t often use it again after it has been cut. If you’re working on a large-scale wire project, you likely won’t leave them uncut either. The main reason you would normally want to unlock a cable tie is if your wire harness is semi-permanent and requires modifications. In a case like that, it is better to invest in reusable cable ties instead, one way to keep cable tie waste to a minimum. When you use releasable zip ties, you can modify your wiring setup. These are earth-friendly choices that can be used repeatedly. Releasable cable ties are often additionally designed to hold harnesses gently yet effectively, without overtightening, which can happen with traditional cable ties. Beaded cable ties, Millepede™ Standard Mille-Ties™, GripLockTies™, and HellermannTyton SOFTFIX Cable Ties, are just a few of many options from CableOrganizer®. There are additionally hook and loop cable ties with VELCRO® in all sizes, from reusable mini cable ties for charger wires, to cable wraps with up to 10,000 closures for oversized harnesses.

2. Properly Applying and Maintaining Cable Ties: It’s all about the methods used that sometimes makes all the difference for the lifespan of zip ties. For example, purchasing cable ties that are too long can lead to excess cutting and waste of materials. Overly tightening ties may cause them to break. Even adding another system like cable raceway or cable trays — and then placing your tied harnesses in there — can also extend the longevity of your cable ties.

3. Purchasing in Bulk: When you are buying a larger quantity of cable ties, it is another way to reduce waste. If you use them frequently, this reduces the amount of packaging expended, while minimizing the strain on manufacturing and shipping resources.

4. Cable Tie Disposal or Recycling: Throwing out single-use cable ties may be the only option in some places. You should check local recycling facilities to verify if they take smaller plastic items, such as zip ties. A manufacturer may additionally have an in-house recycling program where consumers can return their discarded cable ties, then they are remanufactured into new plastic products. On some DIY forums, it has been suggested to donate them to organizations or stores that sell scrap items for crafting. Other DIYers have advocated for recycling zip ties to create new 3D printer filament.

5. Cable Tie Upcycling: There are artists who have turned cable ties into something with aesthetic, whether for profit or their own enjoyment. These have been used to decorate lamps, baskets, and vases. Instead of an embellishment, some cable ties form the vessel or sculpture itself, like a basket or vase with ties intricately twisted in ways to make an artful piece. Zip ties have been used to string together beads on necklaces or earrings. Some halo-style headpieces have been cable tie creations, many painted in gold and embellished with other ornate bling. There have been some celebrities who have embraced this indie accessory as part of their red carpet fashion.

Shop at CableOrganizer® for both single-use and releasable cable ties, plus hook and loop wraps and fasteners.

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