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Reusing Plastic Coffee Cans

Category Reusing
Coffee can composting
Ground coffee can now be found in reusable plastic containers with a tight fitting lid and handle. They are perfect for storage and crafts. This is a guide about reusing plastic coffee cans.
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By 10 found this helpful
February 23, 2009

As a former teacher I am very much aware of how many out-of-pocket expenses teachers have. One big request is tissues, especially this time of year. I have made a clever tissue holder for my grandson's teacher. I'm sure she will appreciate not having to add boxes of tissue to her need-to-buy list.

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You'll need a large empty coffee can with a snap-on plastic lid, contact paper or wallpaper, non-slip drawer/cabinet liner, Elmer's glue, and a roll of toilet paper.

Remove the plastic lid and cut a round hole (about and inch and a half in diameter) in the center of it. Make four small cuts at 12, 3, 6, and 9 o'clock to "grab" the tissue as it's torn off. (Think about the cuts in the top of a container of wipes).

Measure the height and circumference of the can. Using these measurements, cut contact paper or wallpaper to cover the can. Contact paper should stick on its own. Use the glue if it doesn't or if you choose to use wallpaper. Apply stickers, stamps, draw designs, personalize it with the teacher's name or decorate the can however you choose.

Set the can on a piece of the non-skid rubber liner and use a pen to draw around the can to show where to cut. Cut out the circle and glue it to the bottom of the can. (Keeps the can from sliding around while a piece of tissue is being pulled out).

Pull the cardboard roll out of the center of the roll of toilet paper. Start pulling the tissue from the inside of the roll of toilet paper and thread it through the hole in the center of the lid. Snap the lid in place on the top of the can.

Now the teacher has a convenient dispenser from which the students can pull off as much or as little as they need. An added benefit for the teacher is that the school supplies toilet paper but not boxes of tissue. To refill all she or he needs to do is to pick up a fresh roll from the janitor.

Go ahead and get busy. Those teachers could use a little lift this time of the year. Next year make one for your child's new teacher and send it in along with supplies on her start-of-school wish list.

By Sandy from Elon, NC

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March 23, 2016

I buy the large coffee jugs, the 33 oz. size. They are made so well, they have a handle on the side, with a good tight seal lid. I just can't see throwing them away. I give them to neighbors that I know, one being an older gentleman that uses them for his screws, nails and other little tools.

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I have been cleaning out and organizing things and got out the jugs I was saving. So here are a few ideas I am using myself.

Source: My own organizing idea!

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By 11 found this helpful
December 15, 2011

Foldger's has lovely holiday templates on their website for you to decorate their red canisters! There are even instructions. I can think of many more ways to use that clip art, myself!
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By Pam from Los Angeles, CA

Editor's Note: These labels are no longer available on the Folgers' website. Although there is no official version, there are some people who offer their own printable versions online if you do a google search.

Link: http://www.folgerscoffee.com/apps-tab/can-decorator

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By 9 found this helpful
January 26, 2009

I use the large coffee containers as a trash can to collect lint from my dryer. It is large enough to collect a lot, and allows the lint to compress without breaking the container. The plastic does not scratch or make noise if the dryer vibrates, it has a sealing lid, and when it is full you can either dump the lint into the trash can, or use another coffee container.

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It also doubles as a place to contain items which are pointy or sharp that would normally cut through a trash bag. (razors, tooth picks, used pencils and the like.) I do not normally purchase the large coffee size, so I use the coffee containers from church which are abundant. Also with the sealing lid I can mix coffee I prefer with the cheaper coffee. This keeps me from finding another container to place the coffee in.

By Redbeard from Tampa

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May 7, 2007

Save one of the new kinds of large plastic coffee cans to make a quick counter top compost bin! Label clearly so everyone knows what it is.

Coffee can composting

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By 8 found this helpful
December 12, 2008

This is one from my hubby. He has me keeping all of the 2 pound plastic coffee containers with the handles on them for future use in his shop. He builds houses and remodels them as well.

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By 5 found this helpful
December 9, 2007

If you buy coffee in the large plastic canisters, you can go online to the Folger's website, and print off holiday templates to glue over the existing labels. These frugal containers can be used for homemade cookies

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By 6 found this helpful
May 26, 2011

When I empty my plastic coffee containers, I paint them with paint for plastic found at your craft store or any paint store. I use these containers to store rice, beans, or any dry food product.

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November 2, 2004

The plastic Folger's coffee cans really made me MAD when they were first introduced. I have always been a HUGE fan of the metal cans. HOWEVER, these plastic cans are just WONDERFUL!

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February 6, 2017

I get a lot of these from recycling and my friends save them for me, too. This is just what I had empty so I am going to keep going, but I ran into a snag. So here's the tip and a cautionary warning.

Using Coffee Tubs for Fabric Storage - stack of cans filled with fabric with a short piece of wood under the bottom row to give back tilt

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By 2 found this helpful
January 29, 2008

I have been using my empty plastic coffee containers for organizing my kitchen lately. I have one full of cookie cutters, one contains my decorating supplies, etc. The small ones are also wonderful for the kids' tiny toys, like plastic dinos or army men.

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By 7 found this helpful
March 12, 2012

I have lots of the big red Folgers coffee containers and I decided to use them to make a toilet paper storage unit for the bathroom. I took 3 large containers, cut the bottom out of two of them and stacked them on top of each other.

Coffee Container Toilet Roll Holder, covered in decorative tissue paper

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August 21, 2008

The 34 oz. plastic coffee cans that come with the nice plastic lids are great to store the 1.75 qt. round ice cream containers in your freezer and prevent freezer burn or crystallization of the ice cream.

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By 2 found this helpful
January 12, 2010

Use new coffee filters to get rid of odors in enclosed containers. Like re-using plastic coffee cans or in stored Tupperware with lids on, equals no plastic odor!

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By 3 found this helpful
August 5, 2009

I use the red and green coffee plastic containers in the following way...

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By 3 found this helpful
December 28, 2006

Coffee Containers As Toys. We re-use those plastic coffee containers as frugal toys. They are fun for toddlers to stack and store things. My 15 month old loves to put things in them, and take them out, and put the lid on and off.

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December 7, 20161 found this helpful

This is a guide about organizing with plastic coffee containers. If you purchase coffee in large plastic containers, be sure to reuse them for your clutter.

Declutter with Coffee Cans

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By 0 found this helpful
September 15, 2016

I buy these all the time. Well, with the coffee in them, of course! I wash them out and fill them individually with sugar, flour, etc. I then label them on the handles and put them in my cabinets.

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January 26, 20170 found this helpful

Plastic contains can be used in many craft projects. This is a guide about finding plastic Folger's coffee cans.

A plastic red container of ground coffee.

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December 7, 20160 found this helpful

A coffee can makes a perfect last minute Easter Basket for children. This is a guide about making a plastic coffee can Easter basket.

Last Minute Easter Egg Basket for Kids

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Questions

Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

By 2 found this helpful
November 15, 2011

What are some good ideas for recycling the Folger's and Maxwell House plastic coffee cans/jugs? I use mine to keep compost in before taking out to the compost bin, but are there any other ideas?

By Kim

Answer Was this helpful? 2

Answers

November 15, 20110 found this helpful

They make nice storage containers in the kitchen. On the Folger's website you can print decorative labels to cover up the advertising and make the container appropriate for Christmas or other holidays. http://www.folg  n-decorator.aspx

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November 15, 20110 found this helpful

I use one for my coins. Once it is full, I cash it in. The last time I did this I had over $700. Mind you, Candians have loonies and twoonies so it adds up fast. Another is cut and used for a scooper in my bird feed container.

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By 1 found this helpful
December 19, 2009

I hate throwing containers away, but what else can I do with all the blue plastic Maxwell House and red Folgers coffee containers, besides hiding craft supplies in them?

By Gretta from Wayne, OK

Answer Was this helpful? 1
December 25, 20090 found this helpful

For Christmas one year, my mom and I took 2 large coffee tins (they were tin at the time), painted them, decorated them, and filled them with hair accessories (barettes, pony tail elastics, etc) for my 2 nieces for Christmas presents. They loved them! Perhaps you could decorate them and use them to "wrap" gifts in? Because they contained coffee, the plastic would have to be food-grade so you could even use them for holding cookies, either for yourself or to give away. My husband and I use mason jars to hold our spare change so that might be an idea too.

Hope this helps!

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January 1, 20100 found this helpful

First off, when you say "throw out" we all hope you mean recycle? You can keep old paint in them, fill the smaller ones with the handles with cat litter and take them walking with you for exercise, or keep them in your garage for an oil spill.

Keep tools, paint brushes, hardware and more in them in the garage or shop.

When you come home with 5 or 10 lbs of flour, oatmeal, sugar, or beans/rice/pasta, keep them rodent free in your pantry, writing on the lids what is inside.

Wrap them in fabric or paint them and fill with rocks or cat litter for weight, and use them for shelf supports. Decorate and use for banks.

One of the red ones can be used for left over corn and put in the freezer. The next time you have beans, drop them in and put them back in the freezer. When you have enough leftover veggies to fill the top, you have enough for a wonderful soup.

If you have to move, keep your small breakables inside filled with news paper or unbuttered popcorn. I hope this helped but if you really thing about it, it only scratches the surface. PBP

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January 1, 20100 found this helpful

The only problem I see with using them for flour and sugar is that even after I washed one of the blue containers, it still smells like coffee.

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January 5, 20100 found this helpful

During this cold, icy, snowy time why not fill with ice melt/salt and use it to pour when you need to go out to your car or to get mail. That way you will not slip and fall on the ice. Also, keep one filled in the car so if you park somewhere icy you can sprinkle some for yourself.

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January 1, 20110 found this helpful

I use one to store coffee filters in, it's the right size, doesn't squash the filters and keeps them clean. I use them to store some office supplies, cookies, some craft supplies and seeds. I too am having a hard time re-using them, but trying real hard. I like the idea of keeping a container of salt in the car while traveling. Good luck.

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November 9, 20110 found this helpful

Hello,

Folgers website has some free Christmas printable's for the plastic cans!

http://www.folg  ister/index.aspx

These would be great for gifting cookies :)

have a great day,

Beverly

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By 0 found this helpful
December 16, 2011

How do I get the coffee smell out of the Folders coffee canisters? I have tried baking soda and putting it in the sun for a few days, but the coffee smell always comes back. I want to use these for Christmas treats and I don't want them to smell like coffee. Please help. Thank you.

By Lana W.

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By 0 found this helpful
April 29, 2017

I am so glad I finally found Thrifty Fun again. I need your suggestions for things I can do with Folger's Instant Coffee jars. I have a lot of small ones, they are so cute. I hate to just keep collecting them in a plastic bag. Any suggestions would be gratefully appreciated.
Thanks.

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By 0 found this helpful
November 14, 2013

I have quite a few empty Folgers Instant containers, in different sizes. I just love the shape.
I'm looking for suggestions on different ways to decorate and utilize these containers. I will share photos during the process.

Thanks guys, you're the best.

By Linda

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By 0 found this helpful
November 28, 2010

I have several of the red plastic coffee containers from Folger's coffee. Does anyone have a good idea for use of these for crafts, etc.?

By Sandy from Bedford, PA

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November 29, 20100 found this helpful

Mine have: scraps of lace, buttons, yarn with a hole in the lid for me to crochet out of. In the kitchen I have my cookie cutters, rice, corn meal etc. In the winter months with snow I keep salt in one near the door for my steps.

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November 29, 20100 found this helpful

I use mine to dispose of old cooking oil and food grease. I store it in the freezer so when I go to throw it away it doesn't make a huge mess in the garbage.

This year I plan to use a few of them to store Christmas ornaments in, as my old shoe boxes are in disrepair.

I also have a friend that uses them for storage and preparation her own homemade scent saches. She mixes the pine cones, wood shavings, and dried flowers with the scented oils in the containers so her good plastic is not ruined.

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November 29, 20100 found this helpful

If you go to the Folger's website: http://www.folg  n-decorator.aspx they have holiday labels that you can print out and apply to the canister to make nicely decorated containers to use for cookies or other gifts.

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December 1, 20100 found this helpful

If you have a lot and won't be using them, leave a note in the church bulletin, radio trading post, freebie section of the paper. Many garage clean up time begs for these. Workshops, retired guys trying to keep their wives happier with cleaned up nuts/bolts, etc.

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April 1, 20150 found this helpful

I read online how to remove the lettering from the containers, but nothing worked. Any suggestions?

By JAC

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By 0 found this helpful
December 26, 2011

I need some ideas for what to do with large plastic coffee cans. They are very sturdy and it seems to me there have got to be good uses for them.

By Marion

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April 14, 20120 found this helpful

I am looking for uses for plastic coffee cans.

By Einy L

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Archives

ThriftyFun is one of the longest running frugal living communities on the Internet. These are archives of older discussions.

January 12, 20100 found this helpful

I buy coffee from the warehouse store in very big plastic containers. I'd love to re-use these containers for food storage, but even after I wash them on the top shelf of my dishwasher, they still smell like coffee. I'm afraid that anything I store would pick up the coffee smell. Any idea how to get the smell out of the plastic container?

Thanks!

Sharon from Yulee, FL

Answers:

Removing Coffee Odor From Plastic Coffee Containers

I agree with the previous post. Use WHITE VINEGAR, but if your containers are really large, you may need to use more vinegar than stated, maybe even 2 cups then soak overnight.

Vinegar and Lemon Juice are natures disinfectants, and odor removers. (09/13/2006)

By Cyinda

Removing Coffee Odor From Plastic Coffee Containers

Dawn Ultra dish detergent has a new product to erase odor in dishes. It is a splash of lime odor eraser. (09/14/2006)

By Hannah01

Removing Coffee Odor From Plastic Coffee Containers

Try stuffing it with lightly crushed newspaper and putting it in the sun for a few days. (09/14/2006)

By Linda

Removing Coffee Odor From Plastic Coffee Containers

I use white vinegar about 1/2 cup or less and let it set out. It has worked or I used baking soda alone
and just shake it once in a while and it also works.
good luck (09/14/2006)

By meoowmom

Removing Coffee Odor From Plastic Coffee Containers

I have not tried this but try placing the can in the sun for a day. This is supposed to remove tomato stains from plastic containers and odors from plastic containers. (09/15/2006)

By Gvoisard

Removing Coffee Odor From Plastic Coffee Containers

Add 1 tablespoon of liquid household bleach to a gallon of cool water and pour into the container.

Let the solution remain in the container for 10 minutes, then pour out.

Rinse the container with purified water. Pour out the rinse water and let dry. Do not wipe dry with paper towels, hand towels, etc. These may harbor germs which will leave bacteria in the container.

You now have a completely sanitized container!

NEVER use hot water! Hot water weakens plastic and may cause it to warp or become thin in some areas.

Never reuse "one-time" use containers such as plastic water bottles, party cups or plastic cutlery, unless the label says "safe for reuse!" These items are not designed to be be reused, nor can they be completed and safely cleaned since they cannot withstand a hot enough water temperature to be sanitized. They have been manufactured with small imperfections (ridges, rims, inconsistent surfaces) which harbor germs and can make you sick! (03/01/2007)

By ivy

Removing Coffee Odor From Plastic Coffee Containers

I have used bleach many times it does not work well. I will try the vinegar now. Will let you know if it works. (02/08/2008)

By Cathy

Removing Coffee Odor From Plastic Coffee Containers

I have to trim the cone coffee filters to fit my little maker so I use the trimmings to keep odors out of everything! I'm sure any kind of coffee filter would work=I always put em in my tupperware with the lids on and don't have that plastic smell when I go to use them. Of course I'm lucky enough to have the space to store em like that. No more searching for lids! (01/10/2010)

By nancyintx

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December 19, 20090 found this helpful

I'd like ideas for making crafts out of the plastic coffee cans. I'd like to make useful items to sell at a bazaar. I have so many of these containers. It seems so wasteful to throw them away.

Artlady from Edmond, OK

Answers:

Uses for Plastic Coffee Containers

I wash, dry and save egg shells all winter so that I can spread them around my Hostas in the spring. This keeps the slugs off your plants and the canisters are a great place to keep them. After using an egg, rinse out the shell, let dry on paper towels and then crumble in the can. (06/17/2008)

By PeggyLee

Uses for Plastic Coffee Containers

We use them for piggy banks. My youngest 3 are 5, 4, and, 2 1/2 and it is hard to find any that are not ceramic. Use felt, wrapping paper, construction paper, along with stamps, crayons, stickers, and markers to decorate. A pair of scissors and a slim metal file makes a good hole in the lid and the file smooths out the rough edges. We superglue the lids on the younger 2, but my 5 year old likes to count the money daily. They make them about once a month (even when their other isn't full yet). (06/18/2008)

By momoffour

Uses for Plastic Coffee Containers

I saw some Halloween decorations made from them somewhere online. The cans were spray painted black on the inside and orange on the outside. Then the eyes, nose, and mouth were cut out of the can. With a tea light placed in them, they were very cute and professional looking. This kind of decoration idea can be done for other holidays, too. Paint green and punch holes in shape of tree, yellow and punch holes in shape of star. They look great lined up down a walkway. (06/18/2008)

By huskey

Uses for Plastic Coffee Containers

The containers could be used to make a string of lanterns. Spray paint the coffee can, lid and all, attach it to a string of lights (the icicle Christmas lights). One lantern per little icicle. Of course, the lantern has little holes cut out. Star shaped, circles, your choice. This lantern would protect the lights from rain and snow.

They could also be made into luminaries. They would lie on the ground and would line a walk-way, wall, or path. Spray lantern and the wire any color. They could be sprayed orange in the fall for a pumpkin party. (06/18/2008)

By Jan

Uses for Plastic Coffee Containers

I have seen them painted and decorated and filled with different items to be sold at church jumbles. I have seen art kits, first aid kits, sewing kits, gardening kits, and so on. (06/19/2008)

By Kerry

Uses for Plastic Coffee Containers

I remember a website last Christmas that said if you go on the website of the coffee company, they have ready made seasonal stickers you can cover the cans with. They fit perfectly over the Folgers labels. Look up the website and see. (06/19/2008)

By Sharon

Utensil Holder

Try using it to hold your under sink items, such as that wet brush after scrubbing pots. (10/21/2008)

By By Kelly

Uses for Plastic Coffee Containers

Here's a really neat project I found for coffee cans. I will be posting all the details on this later. But, for now, here's a picture. It's a birdhouse made out of a plastic coffee can. (11/28/2008)

By Artlady

RE: Uses for Plastic Coffee Containers

Uses for Plastic Coffee Containers

I've done this once and plan to do it several more times. I taped off around the label part of the plastic can and spray painted the label with "Chalkboard" paint available at the local Walmart or home improvement store. Then I can use the can for whatever I want, by writing on it with chalk. So far I've used mine for raffle and door prize drawings for our PTO meetings and functions.
(12/27/2008)

By Vikki

Uses for Plastic Coffee Containers

I use them for when someone is sick. The kids use them for sand toys. The hubby stores tools in them.
They are good for keeping toilet paper dry when camping. I also, put all the sandwich meats and cheese in them to keep them dry in the cooler.
(03/02/2009)

By crunchberry

Uses for Plastic Coffee Containers

I also use mine as compost buckets as Melody has and find that odors do not waft out, because of the tight seal. These are perfect as paint buckets, small toys, and blocks organizers. I told the kids that the coffee odor was the smell of "magic". (05/14/2009)

By captarlo

Uses for Plastic Coffee Containers

I am going to have some fun. I have collected a lot of the Folgers plastic coffee containers. I think I will go to the store and purchase some paint for plastic and design my own flower pots; punch holes in the bottom and use the lid to catch drainage. (07/12/2009)

By crochetpotholder

Uses for Plastic Coffee Containers

I use the red plastic containers for the "dead" batteries that are in need of being charged. Once charged they go into the green containers and are ready for use. (08/01/2009)

By Flashman

Uses for Plastic Coffee Containers

A butt can for those who smoke on the porch. Add a little water to the bottom and they can put their cigs in them when done. (08/01/2009)

By Reeseewi

Uses for Plastic Coffee Containers

I have a limited space for all my crafting supplies. So I store my supplies in them and also I save several back to use for the small projects I am working on. We have to drive almost 100 miles to our doctor's office so I will pull out a couple of things to work on 1 for the ride up 1 for waiting room time and another for the ride home and by the time we are home I have 3 projects almost finished. (10/04/2009)

By dcsprsmm

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