How To Recycle Empty Glue Sticks & Glue Bottles

Did you know that while Elmer’s bottles of glue and glue sticks are recyclable they cannot be recycled at your local recycling plant? I didn’t either, and I have tossed a LOT of empties into the recycling bin. I recently learned that the special plastic used in Elmer’s glue products can only be recycled at designated recycling plants. To spread the message about how to recycle empty Elmer’s containers, Elmer’s Glue Crew has partnered with Walmart and Terracycle to encourage school groups to collect empty glue containers for recycling. When I learned about this program, I jumped at the opportunity to get my daughter’s preschool involved.

On parent’s night K’s new teacher made three simple requests for the classroom — more glue, glue sticks and markers. Pre-K kids go through a lot of glue. (My daughter alone will use up an entire glue stick for a single project.) Through my previous #BagitFwd campaign (and my ongoing annual school supply shopping), I already picked up a LOT of glue and glue sticks to donate to my daughter’s class. So I know there will be a lot of empty containers this year.

Once I learned about Elmer’s Glue Crew, I was on a mission to create a collection box for K’s classroom. With her teacher’s approval (thanks Miss Kim), I set off to Walmart to pick up a few additional supplies for the classroom (see my entire shopping trip in my Google+ story).

Elmers Glue Sticks Bag it Forward

It’s funny how sometimes you don’t see something right in front of you until someone points it out. While shopping, I turned over one of the glue sticks and noticed the Glue Crew logo for the first time.  Do you know how many packages of glue sticks I have purchased this year? Roughly 40-50. That’s a lot of glue, and until I learned about the Glue Crew, I never even noticed it right there on the packaging.

Elmer's Glue Stick Crew

In my previous Bag it Forward mission I mentioned Elmer’s 1st Day app. The app is designed to help parents keep track of pictures of those all important school firsts. In addition to being handy, for every photo uploaded, Elmer’s will donate one product to The Kids in Need Foundation up to 200,000 products.

Back at home it was time to put my crafting hat on and make a collection box. Since this project is all about recycling, it made sense to upcycle the base of my collection box out of something we have a lot of around here — a diaper box.

Elmers Glue Crew Box How To

I took a little inspiration from the glue stick itself and decided to turn my collection box into a giant glue stick. Using card-stock paper that I already had, it was surprisingly simple to create my glue stick box. Again in keeping with the theme of the box, my little helper and I used a glue stick to attach the paper to the box. (Just in case, I used an X-treme glue stick, for extra hold.) To reinforce the edges, I used Elmer’s double-sided tape, which I keep on hand for projects. (It’s really good stuff.)

Making Elmer's Glue Crew Box

 My little project turned out pretty cute, if I do say so myself.

Elmer's Glue Crew Collection Box

Once my box was completed, it was time to take my box and supplies to school. K was so excited to present her teacher with the special box we made and the art goodies we bought for the classroom too.

Elmer's Clue Crew Bag it Forward

In addition to collecting glue empties in the classroom, K’s teacher said she would tell all of the other teachers about the project so they can collect empties school wide. I also plan to talk to some of the parents in the class about it so they can bring empty glue containers from home as well.

Learn more about how you can get involved with the Glue Crew at For more inspiration on creating your own Glue Crew box, check out the Bag it Forward Pinterest board. You can also find Elmer’s on Facebook and Twitter.

Check out this video about how glue empties are recycled.


Disclosure – I  am a member of the Collective Bias™ Social Fabric® Community.  This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias™ and Elmer’s, however, all thoughts and opinions are my own.  #BagItForward #CBias #SocialFabric

10 thoughts on “How To Recycle Empty Glue Sticks & Glue Bottles”

  1. Thank you so much for helping to spread the word about the Elmer’s Glue Crew program! Fantastic that your efforts will be shared within the entire school building 🙂 I love your Glue Crew Recycle Bin, so colorful and fun!

    • I actually don’t know for 100% certain. But when we collected them, I threw in ALL brands and sent them. I figured the worst case, they throw them away. But seems like they might as well recycle them 🙂

    • Sadly, it seems that Elmer’s has cancelled it’s recycling program. Even the Terracycle one seems to be closed. Very sad.

      • I have several other recycling programs in many schools and was hoping to add this program also. I hope they decided to start this great recycling program again!


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