String Recycling: New Life from Old Strings

7.4lb box

The structure and shape of strings make them difficult and costly to recycle. But that hasn’t stopped some manufacturers from tackling the challenge, and even extracting metal from old strings to use in new ones, writes Tom Stewart

According to the World Bank, more than two billion tons of domestic waste are generated across the planet each year, twelve per cent of it plastic and another four per cent metal. To say that strings for musical instruments make up a tiny proportion of this would be a huge understatement, but when you consider that manufacturers’ annual combined production runs to tens of millions of the things, it isn’t surprising that some companies have been keen to explore how they can prevent their products from ending up in landfill or an incinerator. I asked a range of string manufacturers what they made of emerging recycling technologies, and what they were doing to help the industry conserve the materials it uses.

Already subscribed? Please sign in

Subscribe to continue reading…

We’re delighted that you are enjoying our website. For a limited period, you can try an online subscription to The Strad completely free of charge.

  • Free 7-day trial

    Not sure about subscribing? Sign up now to read this article in full and you’ll also receive unlimited access to premium online content, including the digital edition and online archive for 7 days.

    No strings attached – we won’t ask for your card details

  • Subscribe - online subscriptions from £4.50/month

    No more paywalls. To enjoy the best in-depth features and analysis from The Strad’s latest and past issues, upgrade to a subscription now. You’ll also enjoy regular issues and special supplements* and access to an online archive of issues back to 2010.


* Issues and supplements are available as both print and digital editions. Online subscribers will only receive access to the digital versions.