Recycling firm First Mile has announced that it is launching a new coat hanger recycling service, aimed at fighting the millions of hangers that end up in UK landfill annually.
The company has estimated that millions of coat hangers end up in general waste when they could be recycled, with research finding that Britain has 540 million surplus hangers, weighing 17,000 tonnes, and that as many as 100 million are thrown away each year.
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This is despite the fact that plastic and metal from hangers can be recovered and recycled for use in new products, saving landfill space and further reduction of the world’s natural resources.
The service provides fashion and retail businesses an easy and effective way to recycle their hangers, with Inditex’s UK operations, including Zara UK, already signed up.
Clothing items are often imported with the hangers to allow retailers to quickly display their products. However, they are designed to be a single-use item, with their quality reflecting this, said First Mile.
For plastic hangers with metal hooks, they require specialist recycling to split and shred the materials, which is currently not a service offered by the waste sector.
These hangers will be processed by First Mile’s recycling partner, Endurmeta, where they will be shredded and granulated and then sent for reuse and repurposing within the manufacturing industry.
First Mile founder and chief executive Bruce Bratley said: “The impact of fashion on the environment has been a hot topic in recent months, and we’re committed to doing what we can to make it easier for businesses to be more sustainable. It’s great that many retailers want to recycle coat hangers, with many also operating schemes where customers can bring them in to be recycled. By working with us, these companies can ensure that these hangers are recycled effectively, fulfilling their good intentions and those of their customers.”
Endurmeta manging director Ian Glassbrook said: “Endurmeta is leading the revalue revolution within the UK, taking a new approach to recycling. By viewing all waste as useful materials to be reformed and revalued, rather than ‘rubbish’, we are striving to create a better, cleaner UK. Our ultimate goal is to stop waste reaching landfills and oceans, and to do this we must continue to find solutions to hard to process material, such as coat hangers.”