Paper clips have been used since kingdom come for holding documents together. Each year, millions of paper clips are produced and sold all across the globe. They are used in offices, in schools, and virtually any other establishment that you can think of.
A paper clip serves a very simple function: it is designed to clip and hold two pieces of paper together. It’s usually very small, and is made of ductile metal that can be twisted around.
These paper clips are usually available in different sizes, and can easily be found in almost every drawer – until you actually need one.
As the world has become more and more aware of the impact of climate change and the use of harmful materials that are not sustainable in the long run, the focus has shifted.
People are looking for more sustainable ways of doing work, and that is one of the main reasons why the entire world is moving toward a future that does not involve as much paper or other accessories.
Thousands of tons of metal is used for manufacturing paper clips each year, and as the world becomes aware of the grim reality that humans face if they do not focus on minimizing the carbon footprint and moving toward sustainable materials, a number of alternatives have already been produced and are available in the market.
In fact, if you want to play your role in saving this earth, starting as small and buying a viable alternative to the traditional paper clips is a great choice. There are a host of different alternatives that you will find in the market, but you need to be careful about which ones to choose.
For instance, replacing paper clips with staples isn’t a wise idea, because they are both essentially the same; one just uses a bit less metal than the other.
However, there are a few companies that have been working on change, and they have come up with a variety of different alternatives to paper clips that you will do well to use in your office or at home.
Here are the most common alternatives to paper clips that you will find in the market these days.
1 – Binder Clips
Binder clips are reusable and you can’t lose them as easily either. They are also available in a range of different materials, so you can reduce your reliance on metals as well. Binder clips are readily available from almost any stationary store, and are available in several different sizes.
Binder clips have become the standard choice for people who want to bind thick stacks of paper in an efficient manner. It contains a piece of bent metal or plastic with two loops that you can press on to open the “jaws” of the clips.
This will allow you to press the clips tightly on any stack of paper that you want. It’s a fantastic choice for people who want something that they can reuse again and again.
Unlike paper clips, you won’t be able to lose the binder clips as easily. Just keep them in a drawer or place them in a small bowl on your desk, and you can reuse them again and again without any effort whatsoever.
More importantly, because they are made of molded metal or plastic, these clips aren’t going to deform as easily as you might think, making them an excellent choice for use in the long run.
They are available in different sizes and capacities, so you can choose thicker clips for larger stacks of papers, and smaller ones for a tinier stack.
2 – Paper Fasteners and Punchers
If you want to bind papers and store them for use later on or for just filing in a cabinet, you should consider using a puncher and a paper fastener.
A paper fastener can be made from a thin piece of thread, or you can use the standard paper fastener, which is basically a long and bendable prong that fits on the paper on one side, and can be locked in place.
While the method for securing papers this way is slightly longer and requires you to complete two steps instead of one, you should know that it’s actually going to secure the paper tightly. You don’t need to worry about the paper getting unsecured.
You will have to first punch holes within the stack of papers, and then insert the prong through the holes before putting the fasteners in place. Close the lock and your stack of papers is going to be packed tightly.
3 – Plastic Paper Clips
We have already talked at length about the harmful effects of metal paper clips. However, if you are looking for something that is environmentally friendly and doesn’t cause as much damage during its production stages, you should consider using the plastic paper clips.
The best thing about these paper clips is that they are recyclable, so all you have to do is throw them in the recycle bin outside your house, and you can rest assured that they will be recycled.
These are great for use in workplaces, where hundreds of paper clips are used and lost and replaced on a daily basis. Instead of relying on the metal paper clips, using plastic ones is a fantastic idea.
4 – Rubber Bands
Another excellent alternative for people who want to stop using the metallic paper clips, is to consider using rubber bands.
You can buy the thick and wide rubber bands that are available at different stationary stores. They are designed for holding large stacks of paper together and don’t require you to use any other thing.
Because they are thicker and wider, you can rest assured that the rubber bands aren’t going to snap off when you put them around large stacks of paper. Securing large stacks of paper using rubber bands is pretty easy, and it can be done with minimal hassle.
Just put the rubber band around the stack of paper, and repeat the process. You can also put a piece of cardboard under the paper stack to prevent one or two papers from falling out of the stack.
5 – Slide Binders
Another option available to you is the use of slider binders. Slide binders, for those who don’t already know, are designed to hold stacks of paper together without requiring you to punch holes in them or worry about any creases.
Think of slide binders as being the larger and the more capable version of the binder clip, but there are no metal loops in it to open the jaw.
To bind a stack of papers together, you just need to slide the binder back, and place the jaws on the side of the paper stack that you want to bind. Once the jaws are firmly clipped on the papers, you can then slide it forward to lock it into place.
Just like other kinds of binders available out there, slide binders are also available in a myriad of different sizes and are readily available.
6 – Pac-Man Vinyl Coated Clips
The Pac-Man vinyl coated paper clips are great for people who want to use a sustainable alternative to metallic paper clips and don’t want to pay a lot of money either.
Available in a range of different sizes, these paper clips are designed to be used on all kinds of paper stacks. They are available in several different sizes, and you can find them on almost any stationary store in the area.
If you can’t find them, there’s also an online store through which you can place an order. The best part about these cute looking paper clips is that they are available in the shape of the “ghosts” that everyone has seen in the famous Pac-Man game.
They look incredibly cute, and are sure to put a personalized touch to every piece of paper that you submit at work or in school.
7 – Paper – Paper Clips
The Paper paper clips are made from paper, which is why it’s just called Paper. One hundred percent sustainable wood pulp has been used in the manufacture and while they are a tad bit delicate, you don’t need to worry about the paper clips falling off and breaking apart.
Each of these clips is 100% recyclable and 100% reusable, so you don’t need to worry about throwing them away.
More importantly, despite the fact that these clips are made from paper, each of these is capable of holding up to 20 sheets of paper together without breaking a sweat. They are available in a number of different colors, and are made using nontoxic colorfast dye, which doesn’t leave any kind of residue on the paper itself.
If you use them on your own, you will realize that they are just as sturdy as a standard metal clip, and are available in packs of 50.
These are just some of the many different alternatives available to people who want to avoid using the conventional paper clips, so it’s time you play your role in saving the environment too!
I have a bachelor’s degree in construction engineering. When I’m not constructing or remodeling X-Ray Rooms, Cardiovascular Labs, and Pharmacies…I’m at home with my wife, two daughters and a dog. Outside of family, I love grilling and barbequing on my Big Green Egg and working on projects around the house.