Recycling Your Old Luggage

Put your old luggage to good use with these reusable ideas!

January is a great time to start thinking about how to recycle your old luggage & backpacks.  Many of us receive new bags over the holidays, or we have trips planned over the colder months and have bought new luggage to bring with us.

But what to do with your old luggage?  Many people pass their old cases on to a family member – which is a great option, but you could be wondering about other ideas for re-using your bag.

You might be surprised at how your old cases can be used, even with a bit of wear & tear!  Check out some of the ideas we have below, that you might not have thought about before.


Not Just Tourists

Not Just Tourists is a fantastic organization that collects old luggage and fills them with medical supplies to bring to needy clinics around the world.  They accept no funding – everything is done with volunteers.  Then ordinary travellers like us, who are visiting a country on the clinic list can then apply to bring a suitcase with them on their trip, delivering them to the needy clinic!

To date, they’ve sent over 10,000 suitcases with 1,000,000 lbs of medical supplies!

If you would like to donate your old case, or to take a case with you on your next trip, check them out here: https://njt.net/

Janine delivers Not Just Tourists medical supplies in a Samsonite case to a clinic in Kenya.

Children’s Aid / Domestic Abuse Shelter / Homeless Shelter

When thinking about vulnerable adults & children who are staying in temporary housing, foster homes or shelters, we often think about the everyday-supplies that they need; toothbrushes, deoderant, toys, etc. 

But what about something to carry those supplies in?  Call your local shelter or Society to check if they can use your old case – our employees have often donated old cases to these organizations.

Even better – fill the suitcase with much-needed supplies (make sure you call to find out what supplies they are needing at the time of donation)!


Emergency Bags

Whether it be the fires raging in Australia or the earthquake in Puerto Rico, you might think we have been pretty lucky in Canada in terms of natural disasters, but you never know when one might strike.  Forest fires, tornadoes, gas leaks, accidental house fires, etc. are just a few of the threats we face in the Great North. 

If you want to have an emergency bag packed just-in-case, use one of your old suitcases for some key belongings such as:

  • ID
  • hand crank radio
  • first aid kit
  • flashlight
  • dust masks
  • moist towelettes
  • portable battery with a cord to connect to your cell phone
  • non-perishable food
  • water
  • cash
  • glasses / contact lens case & solution
KELOWNA, CANADA – MAY 12: An emergency response worker piles sandbags on a pallette on May 12, 2017 in Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada. Photo Credit: shootthebreeze.

Charity Thrift Stores

Many organizations operate a thrift store to raise funds for their charitable initiatives.  Check out what is operating in your area – and think outside the box.  Animal shelters, churches, emergency relief groups, etc. will often host thrift stores that benefit the community!


Tell us your best ideas on how to re-use old luggage!

These are just a few ideas of how you can re-use your old suitcases, but we’re sure there are many more ideas out there! Reach out to us on our social media pages (@SamsoniteCanada) to share how you are re-using or recycling your suitcases – we’d love to hear from you!

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