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Materials

184: Hanger for coats

Problem:

In the US, everyday over 15.5 million plastic, wood and wire hangers are thrown away, resulting in 8 billions every year. In the UK 100 million plastic hangers are discarded each year.

Solution:

Biodegradable clothes hangers.


Mainetti of San Quirico d’Orcia  is the world’s largest garment hanger manufacturing company, with a portfolio that also includes packaging, branding, and supply chain solutions, Mainetti works with international retail and apparel brands.

In the 1960s, Mainetti pioneered hanger recycling — each reclaimed hanger reduces carbon emissions by at least 80% compared with new plastic hangers.

The company is now aiming to convert 60% of hanger production, by tonnage, to recycled materials by 2025. These are made of WPC (wood-plastic composite), a recycled material made with a mix of recycled wood fibres from sawmills or woodworking industries and thermoplastic materials. At the end of the circular journey, they can reuse these thermoplastics by shredding or heating them and bringing them to life in another recycled form, such as lunch boxes, tubes or the backrest in backpacks.

In 2020 Israeli recycler UBQ Materials www.ubqmaterials.com announced a collaboration with Mainetti to transform household waste into sustainable clothes hangers for the fashion industry. The partnership aims to make use of UBQ Materials’ patented technology which claims to be the first to create a bio-based substitute for oil-based plastics entirely from unsorted household waste.

The resulting products, currently pending Cradle-to-Cradle (C2C) certification, are claimed to reduce methane emissions and groundwater contamination by diverting waste from landfill, while creating a novel raw material with a climate positive impact.

What you can do: Buy biodegradable clothes hangers.

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