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How Plastic Hangers are Hurting the Environment

plastic hangers

Plastic hangers are common in households, clothing stores and, unfortunately, landfills. 85% of retail hangers are thrown in the garbage – resulting in 54 million hangers ending up in landfills every day!

While plastic hangers are, technically, recyclable, it’s less expensive to just make and purchase new ones. Additionally, since plastic hangers are made with a variety of different plastics (some recyclable and some not), it’s close to impossible to sort out the ones that are recyclable.

But since they are mass produced and used so frequently, how bad can a plastic hanger really be for the environment?

Here at Gorman Uniform, we’ve asked ourselves the same question. As a uniform supplier since 1948, hangers have played an important role in our business. Learning more about the negative impacts of plastic hangers has helped us to develop greener policies to combat these issues.

Here is how plastic hangers are hurting the environment and what we can do about it:

Plastic Hangers are Made Out of Harmful Chemicals

Hangers are typically made out of polystyrene and polycarbonate, amongst a variety of other different plastics that are usually low-grade. When piled in a landfill, these chemicals leach benzene, a carcinogen, and bisphenol-A (BPA), a hormone disrupter, into our groundwater!

In 2008, Canada banned polycarbonate and declared bisphenol-A toxic. It’s become a concern for many health officials as people who have BPA in their system most likely got it from plastic sources.

Plastic Takes Too Long to Decompose

In landfills, plastic trash can take up to 1,000 years to decompose. To put that into perspective, humans have created 8.3 billion metric tons of plastic since the early 1950s. With that much plastic being made with a decomposition rate of 1,000 years, landfills are piling up faster than they are depleting.

Currently, there are enough plastic hangers in landfills to fill almost 11 Empire State buildings! This staggering amount of plastic hangers is dangerous to humans, animals, and the environment.

What Can We Do?

One solution is to buy and use hangers that are made out of more easily recycled material. A hanger made out of paper fiberboard, for example, would be recyclable with cardboard boxes. However, not everyone has access to these recyclable hangers. Another solution is to reuse the hangers you have instead of purchasing new ones.

If you’re a business working with a uniform rental company, it’s important to put your trust in a company that is committed to greener policies, like Gorman Uniform!

Gorman Uniform Has Gone Green!

Because of the harmful chemical and environmental effects of plastic hangers on the environment, Gorman Uniform has taken many efforts to go green! We reuse uniform hangers so that we don’t have to buy new ones. By doing this, we don’t end up throwing our hangers into the trash.

We take this issue extremely seriously and are always looking for new ways to enact greener policies while continuing to provide the high levels of quality service you can expect from Gorman Uniform.

For more information on our green policies and to learn more about our uniform, mat, floor care, or facility services, contact us today at 713-467-5424.

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