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The Convenient Truth Concerning Hangers and the Environment

Fay Dunaway said it best in the movie Mommy Dearest, NO WIRE HANGERS… EVER!!

…No plastic either for that matter.

Everyone should be conscious of our environment. 

Here is a question

How many times have you thrown a wooden hanger away?

How many wire or plastic hangers have you thrown away?

Here are the facts

“Wooden hangers almost never end up in a landfill”, says Doug Van Fossen of SBC Recycling, in Centerburg, OH.

“They don’t wear out and they don’t get thrown away; we never see them.”

Here is the problem

According to Fox News Article, How Green Are Plastic and Wire Coat Hangers?,

Ninety percent of America’s clothes are now imported, and most garments that come in from overseas come in on a plastic hanger — 30 to 40 billion of them each year.

 Laid end to end, 40 billion coat hangers would stretch about 8 million miles, far beyond the orbit of the moon.

Worse, most of these hangers are plastic and have a lifespan of one season — about three months, and very few are recycled.

The problems are twofold. Not only do a great many plastic hangers use metal hooks, but most have tissue paper, foam, fabric and bits of soft clear plastic (all imported garments arrive in plastic bags) still stuck to them. The results are a materials menagerie that most recycling centers can’t process.

On top of that, hangers are made from seven different types of plastic. Individuals and store clerks rarely bother separating the K-resin from the polystyrene No. 6. It is far too time consuming for recyclers to separate a mass of tangled hangers and recycling machines can’t handle blends.

That’s why 85 percent of plastic hangers end up in landfills, leaching toxins like benzene and bisphenol-A into the ground water along the way, according to Danny Schrager, CEO of Mountain Valley Recycling in Morristown, Tenn.

 

No Wire Hangers…EVER!!!

What is flat, triangular, metal and hooks at the top?

It is the wire clothes hanger used most frequently by dry cleaners around the world.

The Organic Consumers Association estimates that 3.5 billion wire hangers are used each year. This amounts to 195 million pounds of steel used for wire hanger production.

According to the Steel Recycling Institute, in North America, more steel is recycled than glass, aluminum, paper and plastic combined. Yet, when it comes to recycling metal hangers, this proves difficult due to the plastic coating used to protect clothing from rusting metal, the hooks catch on equipment causing jams and most centers refuse to accept hangers due to the low percentage of steel reclaimed per hanger.

Only about 10 percent of wire coat hangers ended up getting reused or recycled, according to industry statistics. The rest, roughly 88 thousand tons per year, remain in closets but eventually end up in landfills. That is roughly 4000 semi loads!

Do the environment a favor, take your wire hangers back to the cleaners and use wood hangers in your closet.

If you are going to hang your clothes, hangers made from fast growing renewable wood is the only choice. It grows back!!!

Lotus is the hanger wood of choice. These trees reach harvest age every 8 to 10 years!