Action 268: Return all those old hangers

hangersDate: 25 September
Action: 268
Cost of taking action: £/$/€ NIL


We have all got some of these “hanging around” the house or regularly receive them with our clothes shopping or dry cleaning

Whenever you buy a new item of clothing, many retailers give you the hanger.

Whenever you have a suit, jacket or dress dry-cleaned, it comes back on a hanger.

These plastic and metal items are too often just thrown into the bin.

Our action today is to make sure they are recycled or reused.

What to do

Firstly, if you have any of them around the house, gather them together and work out which are genuinely worth keeping and that you will continue to use.

Put the rest in one of your shopping bags, ready for the next time you visit the shops.

Then, take the hangers back to the supermarket, clothes shop or dry cleaner and ask them to reuse or recycle them.

Many supermarkets and other clothes retailers will accept any hangers for recycling, so you probably won’t have to sort them out.

And then in future

In future, when offered the hanger in a clothes shop, politely decline and ask that it is reused or recycled.

It might not be easy to do this at your dry cleaners, but taking them back at future visits is always an option.

Why is this important?

This is important because the hangers are difficult to recycle at home:

  • some are metal
  • some are a mix of plastic and metal
  • it is often unclear as to whether the plastic is recyclable kerbside

Reducing the amount of plastic that is used in this way, and recycling the metal, will reduce:

  • plastic pollution
  • landfill volume
  • carbon emissions
  • fossil fuel use
  • costs

It’s a no-brainer really!

Your retailer will (or should) have processes in place to make sure that things like this are reused, or recycled responsibly. If you have any doubt, ask what happens to them – and apply a little consumer pressure to make sure the use of plastic is reduced to a minimum!

Take action

Sort through your old hangers and get them into the reuse or recycling system, and always refuse them in the future unless you will use and reuse them in your home.

Thank you.