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Ovation: Pull Tab Obsession Pay-Off – Finding An Engagement Ring.


PullTabsFor as long as I can remember, I’ve saved the pull tabs off of every can of soda, beer, etc. that I’ve opened.  I think my grandmother started it.  I don’t remember what charity fundraiser was involved but the initial rumor insisted that the aluminum in the pull tab portion of the can is extra dense and, consequently, more valuable when recycled than the can it was a part of.  The truth is that they’re actually formed from an aluminum allow just like the rest of the can.  Anyway, we all started saving pull tabs and it has since grown to be an obsession of mine … to the point that I’ve found myself picking them up off the ground.

It was interesting to read that I’m not the only person who suffers from this affliction.  Toni Flowers Perkins recently found her engagement ring in a bag of pull tabs that she had collected.  Having lost it more than ten years ago, she thought it was gone forever.

Like members of my family, Perkins donates pull tabs to a Shriner’s Hospital several times per year.  Another organization that benefits from obsessive pull-tab collectors is the Ronald McDonald House.  These groups receive no more than the items’ ordinary recycle value or, at best, a matching amount from another organization.  To put the project into perspective, one hundred pull tabs have a scrap metal value of about three and one half cents.  A million pull tabs might have a recycle value of $350.  You’ve got to save a lot of pull tabs to make a difference.

Unlike Toni Flowers Perkins, I’ve never lost any jewelry amongst the pull tabs.  I have, however, found coins mixed in my collections that were probably worth more than the pull tabs themselves.

I never drink out of cans … I had a bad experience … but I always keep the pull tabs.  There are two of them in my pocket right now.  Do you collect pull tabs?


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Copyright © 2013

From → Ovations

  1. Anonymous permalink

    As a mother of a pull tab collector and a collector myself, I can totally relate. It became an obsession with me when my 80+ year old mother asked me to get all the tabs off the cans in our recycle bin……and I did it. Been consumed since.


    • It’s a sickness. I bet I’ve collected ten thousands of the little things over the years. If I calculate $0.035 per 1,000 pull tabs, that means I’ve raised about $3.50 for charity! Yay me!


  2. Not a pull tab collector at all, but certainly a recycler! We use pop in cans which we drink over ice in glasses. We even bought a can crusher this year so we could get more cans into our recycle bins between trips to the recyclers.


  3. I pull the tab off of every can, but I simply drop it in the hole when I’m finished drinking. I then jingle it around on the way to the trash. Oddly, I’ve never realized I do it until reading this post, so thank you for making me aware of a silly habit I have. Cheers!


  4. Sorry. The little tinking sound > children.


  5. Not obsessed, but keeping them in a jar for a friend’s kid. She decorated the jar so it doesn’t look too bad sitting there on the counter.

    I am pretty convinced that I will be injured twisting and turning the tabs off, though.


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