Can You Recycle Plastic Hangers and what happens to them?

Can you recycle plastic hangers? While the answer may vary depending on your local recycling facilities and infrastructure, recycling plastic hangers can pose challenges due to their mixed plastic composition and limited recycling options. Plastic hangers are a common item found in closets and retail stores, but when they become worn out or are no longer needed, the question arises: can you recycle plastic hangers? Recycling plastic hangers is an important consideration in reducing waste and promoting sustainability. This article explores the recyclability of plastic hangers, discusses the challenges associated with their recycling, and provides guidance on the proper disposal and recycling options available.

Understanding Plastic Hangers

Plastic hangers come in various forms, such as solid plastic, clip-on, or molded designs. They are typically made from different types of plastic, including polypropylene (PP) or polystyrene (PS).

Proliferation of Plastic Hangers

Plastic hangers are widely used in the retail industry due to their affordability and durability. However, their abundance contributes to plastic waste and raises concerns about their environmental impact.

Recycling Challenges for Plastic Hangers

Plastic hangers often consist of a combination of different plastics, making them challenging to recycle. Sorting facilities may have difficulty separating and processing mixed plastics effectively.


Plastic hangers can become contaminated with other non-recyclable materials, such as metal hooks, foam padding, or fabric covers. This contamination further complicates the recycling process and may require additional sorting or manual labor.

Lack of Infrastructure

In many recycling systems, plastic hangers are not accepted due to the limited infrastructure available for their recycling. The focus is often on more commonly recycled plastics like PET bottles or HDPE containers.

Proper Disposal Options

Instead of recycling, consider reusing plastic hangers whenever possible. If the hangers are still in good condition, they can be used in your own closet or donated to thrift stores or local charities.

Retail Take-Back Programs

Some retailers or dry cleaning businesses have take-back programs that accept plastic hangers for reuse or proper recycling. Check with local stores or dry cleaners to see if they offer such programs.


If the plastic hangers are still in usable condition, consider donating them to second-hand stores, community centers, or local organizations that may have a need for hangers.

Recycling Options for Plastic Hangers

Check with your local recycling facilities or waste management providers to see if they accept plastic hangers for recycling. While it may not be widely available, some municipalities or recycling centers have the capability to recycle plastic hangers.

Specialized Recycling Facilities

There are specialized recycling facilities that focus on plastic hanger recycling. These facilities have the necessary equipment and processes to handle and recycle plastic hangers efficiently.

Mail-Back Programs

Some organizations offer mail-back programs where you can send your plastic hangers to be recycled. These programs may require you to cover shipping costs, but they provide a convenient option for recycling plastic hangers.

Reducing Plastic Hanger Waste

Consider purchasing hangers made from more sustainable materials, such as bamboo or wood. These materials are biodegradable, renewable, and have a lower environmental impact compared to plastic.

Reusable and Recyclable Options

Look for hangers made from recycled plastic or those designed for extended use. Some manufacturers offer hangers that can be easily disassembled for recycling, ensuring a more sustainable end-of-life option.

Bring Your Own

When shopping, consider bringing your own reusable hanger or requesting no hanger at the point of purchase. By reducing the demand for plastic hangers, you contribute to the overall reduction of plastic waste.

Raising Awareness and Advocacy

Spread awareness about the challenges of recycling plastic hangers and encourage others to adopt more sustainable practices, such as reusing or donating hangers.

Advocate for Change

Support initiatives that promote extended producer responsibility, urging manufacturers to design hangers with recyclability and environmental impact in mind.

Push for Recycling Infrastructure

Advocate for improved recycling infrastructure that includes plastic hangers, encouraging local authorities and waste management companies to invest in the necessary facilities.


Recycling plastic hangers poses challenges due to mixed plastic composition, contamination, and limited recycling infrastructure. However, there are options for proper disposal and recycling. Reusing plastic hangers, participating in take-back programs, and donating them are viable alternatives. Additionally, exploring local recycling programs, specialized facilities, or mail-back programs can offer recycling solutions. Ultimately, reducing plastic hanger waste through sustainable alternatives and conscious consumer choices is crucial for minimizing environmental impact and promoting a more sustainable future. Raising awareness and advocating for change can further contribute to long-term solutions in plastic hanger recycling.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *