How to Recycle Pool Inflatables

Do you have an old pool toy that’s seen its last day in the sun? Inflatables that are destined for landfill can now be turned into beautiful, one-of-a-kind bags!

I first heard of I Used To Be from Ethically Kate on Instagram. I fell in love with their mission and started collecting as many old, forgotten inflatables from work as I could. I Used To Be repurpose old pool inflatables into unique handmade purses, key chains, or mini, small, or medium-sized bags for any type of occasion, such as heading to the beach, pool, gym or a night away! You can throw all you need in them.

What’s more, these bags and other repurposed items last REALLY WELL. The PVC inflatables are made out of is really tough and durable. This type of plastic is not recyclable, so upcycling it into fun, functional, splash-proof bags is such a great way to keep it out of landfill.

Once I’d collected all the inflatables I could find, I sent the pool toys over to New Zealand, packing them in old boxes I’d collected together from previous online packages I’d received.

If you have old inflatable toys you want to send their way, direct message (DM) @iusedtobe_official on Instagram, letting them know you want to upcycle your pool toys, or email them at

You can also see the I Used To Be website for addresses on where you can drop off old pool inflatables in Auckland.

Just ensure your inflatables are clean and don’t have mould on them, otherwise they can’t be used.

Giving these pool toys a second life.

Nina is the amazing woman behind I Used To Be, making all these beautiful, practical bags out of forgotten pool toy items. I Used To Be was born out of her frustration with the way our society carelessly throws away so much of its waste. She wanted to take up the challenge of reducing plastic pollution.

This is a way of looking at so-called “rubbishdifferently, one pool toy at a time.

How to Recycle Inflatable Pool Toys

  1. Collect any pool toys or inflatables you wish to donate.
  2. Message or email I Used To Be to find out where to post or drop off your inflatables – or check out their website, they list some drop-off points in Auckland for those wishing to take their items straight there.
  3. If posting, pack items into boxes – ensuring the inflatables are clean and free of mould – and write the address on. From there it’s ready to post away!
Before and after the inflatables had been packed. Once ready, you can take them to the post office to ship to I Used To Be in New Zealand.

As always, this is not personal medical advice and we recommend that you talk with your doctor before trying or using any new products. It’s important to check with a doctor before taking this or any new product, especially if taking any other medicine or supplement or if pregnant or nursing. Be sure to check ingredients to make sure there is no risk of an allergic reaction.

Do you have any old pool inflatables you wish to recycle? Do you have any ideas or suggestions on ways we as a collective can reduce plastic waste? Share in the comments below.

Lots of love,

🖤 Vanessa