Clothes hangers can have just as detrimental an impact on the environment as plastic bags, straws and bottles, says Braiform research. Clothes hangers are often overlooked in the debate about plastic waste within the retail sector. Yet, with potentially tens of billions of clothes hangers ending up in landfills annually, their impact is significant.
It was found that re-using a hanger nine times reduces carbon emissions by a massive 79 per cent (when compared to the single use model), revealed the research by world’s largest re-user and recycler of garment hangers Braiform, verified by the Carbon Trust. The environmental benefits of this saving could be significant if all retailers took part in a hanger re-use programme.
Braiform has a truly global footprint and already helps its customers to re-use over 1 billion hangers every year. This process also leads to savings of more than 35,000 metric tonnes of plastic materials from going to waste and entering landfill, as well as importantly reducing costs for the retailers.
As the war on single use plastics intensifies, Braiform’s hangers are being re-used on average nine times across the world and the business has partnerships with prominent high street fashion retailers and global brands.
“We hope that this research helps bring plastic hangers into the wider public debate about the impact on our environment of single use plastics. By adopting a more circular economy model, retailers can become more sustainable which is better for both the environment and their customers,” Dr Jim Collingham, head of re-use operations, Braiform, said.
“As the environmental costs associated with single-use plastics and waste gain wider public awareness, retailers have started to address these key challenges. Actions to improve retail’s carbon footprint have rightly taken place, from plastic bags to plastic straws but there is still a long way to go,” Collingham explained.