When it comes to clothing and wardrobe arrangements, plastic hangers prove to be quite essential.
However, if you opt not to use plastic hangers any longer, the first idea is to get rid of them.
Before you throw them in the bin, you’ll want to know “are plastic hangers recyclable”?
The answer is yes. Despite common misconceptions, plastic hangers are recyclable. Its structure consists of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) plastic which is recyclable.
Here, we’ll help you understand the recyclability of plastic hangers.
What are Plastic Hangers Made Of?
Most plastic hangers, especially tube hangers, consist of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) plastic, making them lightweight. PVC is a common type of plastic material used globally, and such plastic hangers are common in our households.
Plastic hangers can be either soft PVC plastic, which is easily brittle or hard PVC plastic.
You can as well find some plastic hangers made from other types of plastic, such as:
- Acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS)
- Polypropylene (PP) resin material
- Polystyrene (PS) plastic
For most retail stores, the hangers used comprise a mixture of plastic and metal.
Regardless of the plastic-type, plastic hangers serve the sole purpose of hanging clothes. This helps prevent them from getting wrinkled or damaged when folded over.
Are Plastic Hangers Recyclable?
Plastic hangers come from different types of plastics or contain a mixture of metal and plastic. Since these materials are recyclable and 100% reusable, plastic hangers are recyclable.
Recycling involves changing waste products into new usable objects or items.
It’s among the top ways to prevent non-biodegradable plastic hangers from ending in landfills.
Without doing so, they can last for years without decomposing naturally, affecting the environment.
Not all plastic hangers are recyclable though. It can be tricky for recycling centers to identify the kind of plastic used. In such cases, you may have to reuse them.
Can You Recycle Plastic Hangers?
Whether new or old, you can recycle plastic hangers with minimal effort and help make our planet a better place. Here are four simple steps on how to recycle plastic hangers.
Step 1: Check The Hanger’s Recycling Number
Most plastic hangers often come from PVC plastic which is easily recyclable.
However, some hangers consist of polystyrene, a plastic material with the number 6 as a recycling symbol.
You’ll find recycling a bit hard as Styrofoam is usually bulked and not commonly used.
Another thing is that most plastic hangers lack a recycling symbol, making them unsuitable for recycling.
Depending on your domestic recycling program, you can put plastic hangers in the recycling bin.
It’s therefore critical to check if your plastic hanger has a recycling number or be aware of your local recycling policies before taking action.
Step 2: Prepare Your Plastic Hangers For Recycling
If it’s possible to recycle plastic hangers in your community, you’ll need to:
- Remove any metal prongs on the hanger’s edge as they may cause scratches when turning it inside out.
- Detach the cloth pins from the rod.
- Remove the fabric surrounding the clothespins without damaging them.
- Collect all the plastic pieces, metal prongs, and fabrics for recycling but ensure there are no discolored areas or sharp edges that may lead to dismissal.
You can use pliers in the above steps. In addition, ensure the plastic hanger is flexible and lightweight for easy handling.
Step 3: Research About Terracycle
Terracycle is a company that helps individuals recycle their waste products. The company helps make better and reusable items from discarded materials. It recycles products such as:
- Plastic hangers
- Juice pouches
- Toothbrushes, etc.
They aim to keep landfills free from plastic waste. So be sure to check for any available recycling programs the Terracycle offers in your region and use them to recycle your plastic hangers.
If you can’t find a collection center in your vicinity, consider creating an account where you’d be a host.
Step 4: Don’t Buy Clothes With Hangers
You should avoid assembling plastic hangers in the retail shops. When buying clothes, try to remove the hangers and give them back to the sales clerk for the retail store to reuse them.
Remember that wooden hangers last longer and are more sustainable than plastic hangers. So consider opting for wooden hangers.
Can You Put Plastic Hangers In The Recycling Bin?
The answer will depend on your state’s recycling policy. You’ll get different negative answers when asking such a question. If the local facility sees it as recyclable, you can place a plastic hanger in the recycling bin.
But if you’ve broken plastic hangers and the local recycling policy doesn’t allow recycling plastic hangers, then throw them in the garbage. And if the hanger is still in good condition, reuse or donate it.
What To Do With Old Plastic Hangers?
If you have several old plastic hangers, but you don’t know what to do with them, here are some incredible options to use:
1. Recycle (if possible)
Recycling can be an excellent option if your domestic recycling community offers a recycling program for plastic hangers.
You can collect your old plastic hangers and give them to someone who needs them. If there’s no one you can think of, consider charity organizations.
3. Give them to Dry Cleaners
People operating dry-cleaning stores are always in need of hangers for clean clothes. Gifting them with plastic hangers can be a grand gesture as they will use them for a long time.
4. Upcycle (Reuse)
Reusing discarded materials and objects can be an excellent way to produce a product of higher value or quality than the original one. That can be an ideal option with your plastic hangers.
5. Give to Freecycle
Freecycle is a non-profit association of individuals who give and obtain stuff for free. They aim to reuse and prevent good items from ending in landfills. If you don’t know what to do with old plastic hangers, this can be a great option.
Conclusion: Are Plastic Hangers Recyclable?
From the above discussion, it’s clear that plastic hangers are recyclable. However, it’s crucial to understand if the type of plastic used is recyclable.
Be mindful to check for the recycling symbol or number printed on the hangers.
Check for Terracycle recycling programs in your area or create an account.
Alternatively, you can reuse, donate, gift or take old plastic hangers to dry cleaning stores or freecycle.