As a company that provides processing, storage and recycling services for businesses, a large proportion of which are in the media industry, we find that we offer one particular service that seems to be reasonably rare, the recycling of media tape and film. While it could be tempting to think that this is an issue solely for the entertainment industry, the truth of the matter is that many businesses and individuals still have VHS or cassette tapes tucked away in their office or home. The question is how to deal with these without sending them to landfill? The length of time for a tape to decompose is as yet unknown, but with one suggestion being tapes will lie there ‘in perpetuity’ we thought we’d take some time to explain the process at TipTop Media and look at what could be done if you only have a few tapes to dispose of.

At TipTop Media we offer a fully confidential and professional recycling service. If requested we can provide your business with a secure, on-site recycling bin. This means that whoever has been delegated as responsible for getting rid of old media tapes simply needs to put them into the bin via the security slot, where they will remain until our team exchanges the bin and brings it to our recycling facility. As an ISO 27001 certified company, we handle all sensitive date with the utmost confidentiality; the tape itself will be incinerated at a plant where the incineration generates electricity to power the plant and also feed into the national grid. Any ash produced from the incineration is recycled into road aggregate and, for your peace of mind, we can provide a certificate of destruction which details the procedure.

If you only have a few tapes to dispose of, recycling by yourself can be a bit more of a challenge. One way to proceed is to take the tape apart. This can feel unnecessarily destructive but the plastic casing of the tape is theoretically recyclable and can be put into your recycling bin. Unfortunately the film itself is likely to have been coated in a phthalate-laden form of the plastic polyethylene which is not recyclable and needs to be disposed of in another way.

With an estimated 1.5bn tapes in existence, and no known time for their decomposition if sent to landfill, recycling your media tapes through a reputable company is essential. If you would like any further advice or information on this, just send us an email to or give us a call on 020 3234 0090.