Can You Recycle Plastic Hangers?

Can You Recycle Plastic Hangers?

Plastic hangers have become a common household item for organizing and storing clothing. However, as we become more conscious of our environmental impact, the question arises: Can you recycle plastic hangers? Unfortunately, most of the time the answer is no. However, there are other alternatives to recycling that you can try to reduce plastic waste.

In this article, we will explore the possibilities and challenges of recycling plastic hangers, as well as provide alternative and sustainable solutions.

Understanding Plastic Hangers

They are commonly made from materials such as polystyrene (PS) or polypropylene (PP). These materials are lightweight, durable, and inexpensive, making them a popular choice for manufacturing hangers. However, their composition poses challenges when it comes to recycling.

There are various types of plastic hangers available in the market. Some of the common types include:

  • Polystyrene (PS) Hangers: These hangers are rigid and commonly used in retail stores. They are lightweight and have a smooth surface.
  • Polypropylene (PP) Hangers: They are often used for home organization and come in different colors and designs.
  • Recycled Plastic Hangers: Some hanger manufacturers produce hangers made from recycled plastic. These hangers are an eco-friendly alternative to traditional plastic hangers.

Recycling Plastic Hangers: Is It Possible?

Unfortunately, recycling plastic hangers can be challenging. The main issue lies in the composition of the hangers, which typically consist of different types of plastic and metal components. The different materials make it difficult to recycle them together efficiently.

In some cases, local recycling programs may accept plastic hangers, but this largely depends on the recycling facilities available in your area. It’s important to check with your local recycling center or waste management facility to understand their specific guidelines.

Alternatives to Recycling

In cases where recycling plastic hangers is not feasible, there are alternative methods to reduce their environmental impact. Consider the following options:

  • Reuse: Instead of discarding plastic hangers after use, reuse them for different purposes. They can be used for hanging belts, and scarves, or even as hooks for organizing various items.
  • Donate: If your plastic hangers are still in good condition, consider donating them to local thrift stores, community centers, or clothing donation programs. These organizations often welcome hanger donations to support their operations.
  • Return to Retailers: Some retailers have recycling programs in place for plastic hangers. Check with your local stores to see if they accept hangers for recycling.

Repurposing Plastic Hangers

Repurposing plastic hangers can be a creative way to give them a new life. Here are a few repurposing ideas:

  • DIY Projects: Use plastic hangers for crafting projects such as making jewelry holders, picture frames, or mobile hangers.
  • Gardening Aid: Plastic hangers can be repurposed as plant markers or supports for young plants.
  • Cable Organizers: Hang plastic hangers on the back of your desk or entertainment center to manage and organize cables.

How to Properly Dispose of a Plastic Hanger

When you have exhausted all reuse and repurposing options, and recycling is not available, it’s important to dispose of plastic hangers properly. Here are some steps to follow:

  • Check Local Guidelines: Contact your local waste management facility or recycling center to inquire about the appropriate method of disposing of plastic hangers in your area.
  • Separate Components: If recycling is an option, separate any metal components from the plastic hanger. This will make it easier for recyclers or waste management facilities to handle each material separately.
  • General Waste: If your local guidelines indicate that plastic hangers should be disposed of in general waste, place them in your regular trash bin or bag, ensuring they are securely contained to prevent causing any potential hazards during waste collection.

Sustainable Solutions for Plastic Hangers

Some manufacturers and designers are exploring sustainable alternatives, these include:

  • Biodegradable Hangers: Companies are developing hangers made from biodegradable materials such as bamboo or cornstarch-based plastics. These hangers can break down naturally over time.
  • Recycled Plastic Hangers: As mentioned earlier, hangers made from recycled plastic are gaining popularity. By using recycled materials, the demand for virgin plastic can be reduced.


Recycling plastic hangers can be a challenging process due to the composition and lack of infrastructure. However, there are alternative solutions such as reusing, donating, or repurposing plastic hangers. Additionally, the industry is moving towards more sustainable options like biodegradable and recycled plastic hangers. By making conscious choices and exploring these alternatives, we can reduce the environmental impact of plastic hangers.


1. Can I recycle plastic hangers with my regular recycling?

The recycling guidelines vary depending on your local recycling facility. It’s best to check with them to see if they accept plastic hangers.

2. How can I reuse plastic hangers?

Plastic hangers can be repurposed for various uses, such as organizing accessories, donating them to thrift stores, or returning them to retailers with recycling programs.

3. Are there eco-friendly alternatives to plastic hangers?

Yes, there are sustainable options available, including biodegradable hangers made from bamboo or cornstarch-based plastics, as well as hangers made from recycled plastic.

4. Why is recycling plastic hangers challenging?

Recycling plastic hangers is challenging due to the complex composition of different materials and the lack of specialized recycling infrastructure.

5. Can you donate plastic hangers to the salvation army?

Yes, in many cases, the Salvation Army and other similar organizations accept donations of plastic hangers. However, it’s always best to check with your local Salvation Army branch or other donation centers to confirm their specific guidelines and whether they accept plastic hangers.

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