Can dry cleaner hangers be recycled? (3 materials used to make dry cleaner hangers) 

In this article, the recycling of dry cleaner hangers will be assessed. Other covered topics will be: 

  • What are dry cleaner hangers made of?
  • What is the environmental impact of plastic?
  • What is the environmental impact of wood?
  • What is the environmental impact of steel?
  • What is recycling?
  • Can dry cleaner hangers be recycled?
  • FAQs

Can dry cleaner hangers be recycled?

Yes, dry cleaner hangers can be recycled. Dry cleaner hangers may be made from plastic, wood and steel. Plastic dry cleaner hangers are the most common because of their good utility and reasonable price. 

There are environmental impacts of all types of dry cleaner hangers. Wood dry cleaner hangers imply the cutting of trees and the consumption of non-renewable resources. 

Plastic and steel hangers mean that non-biodegradable waste is added to the environment at the expense of petroleum-based products like coke. 

These effects can be subdued by the recycling of dry cleaner hangers which will lead to better waste, resource and environmental management. 

What are dry cleaner hangers made of? (3 materials used to make dry cleaner hangers) 

The determination of recyclability of dry cleaner hangers mainly depends upon the analysis of the materials that make up dry cleaner hangers. 

You can tell a lot about any product by analysing what materials and processes are involved in the making of the particular product. 

Consider the case of natural and synthetic fabrics. Natural fabrics are made from natural (plant-based or animal-based) materials, whereas synthetic fabrics are made from materials obtained from fossil fuels. 

Therefore, just by understanding the composition of materials, it is possible to know what environmental impact would be rendered by the subject of interest. 

Reclining back to our main topic, it is seen that dry cleaner hangers may be made from a number of materials that may include: 

  • Wood
  • Steel
  • Plastic

All these materials will have varied impacts on the environment. However, it is seen that plastic hangers are the most common type. This is primarily because plastics deliver good utility at reasonable prices. 

The environmental impact of hangers made from wood would be minimal because of the fact that wood is a natural material and is also biodegradable. 

Another common material that may be used to make hangers is steel. Steel is also non-biodegradable, just like plastics, and therefore will impact our environment in a significant manner. 

What is the environmental impact of dry cleaner hangers made from plastic?

As there are different substances used to make dry cleaner hangers, there will be varied impacts of these materials on the environment. 

It is argued that plastic hangers are the most common and therefore, we will start off with the impact of plastic hangers on the environment. 

There are two types of plastics that are usually used to make hangers. These are polystyrene and polycarbonate. 

The impact of polycarbonate and polystyrene is significant because these materials are made from substances derived from fossil fuels. 

Therefore, there is a direct correlation between plastic hangers and GHG emissions. Greenhouse emissions may lead to countless other problems as well such as global warming, melting of glaciers, unprecedented weather patterns, floods, droughts, et cetera. 

The impact of non-biodegradable plastic is not just limited to the environment but is also reciprocated on human health.  

The health complications raised by plastics also include: 

  • Abnormality
  • Reproductive complications
  • Hormonal issues
  • Damage to foetus
  • Necrosis
  • Skin damage
  • Eye allergies
  • Organ defects
  • Cancer
  • Mutation
  • Psychological complication
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Neuro-toxicity
  • Neurological complications 

What is the environmental impact of dry cleaner hangers made from wood?

As far as the environmental impact of wood is concerned, it is usually perceived that since wood is a  natural material, there will be no environmental impact of wood.

However, this statement is a bit far from reality. This is primarily because every consumer product will have some impact on the environment, be it large or small. 

This is because every product is made at the expense of raw materials and there is the energy required to create and finish the products. 

Although wood is mostly made from natural materials, it does not mean that there will be no impact on wood. 

This is because the production of wood hangers means the cutting of trees for the extraction of raw materials. This is okay to a certain degree. But, if wood hangers are made in unsustainable amounts, there will be a lot of tree cutting which will impact us. 

It is already asserted that humans have been responsible for the reduction of tree count by more than 50%. Fewer trees mean a more significant impact on the environment. 

Further, the production of wood hangers would also mean that agrochemicals will be used to meet the production criteria. These chemicals, like fertilisers or pesticides, will pollute waterways and soil as well. 

The production process of wood hangers involves the use of non-renewable resources. These resources like electricity usually are sourced from fossil fuels. Such resources are known to contribute to GHGs emissions which may cause global warming and other related problems.

What is the environmental impact of steel hangers?

Another common type of hanger is hangers made from steel. This section will cover the environmental impact of steel. 

Steel is also linked to a plethora of environmental problems and there are numerous underlying reasons behind that. 

Steel is non-biodegradable and therefore it will remain in the landfill for many hundred years. This will create problems in waste management endeavours and will also contribute to the decapacitation of waste management authorities. 

The production of steel is a highly toxic and harmful process. A large amount of energy is required for the steelmaking process. This energy is sourced from non-renewable sources of energy which lead to Greenhouse gas emissions and global warming. 

Steel also makes use of large amounts of coke, which is a type of coal. Coke adds to the air pollution and water pollution scenarios of the globe. The products used to make steel may also be carcinogenic and toxic. 

As stated, steel production leads to the release of Greenhouse gas emissions. To put this into perspective, consider the following fact. The production of steel leads to the emission of more than 3 billion tons of carbon dioxide which is a potent greenhouse gas. 

What is recycling?

Recycling can be explained as a process of reusing materials and products by making certain changes to them. 

It is a great way to ensure that there is less waste generation and that the world is saved from the detrimental impacts of non-biodegradable waste. 

Recycling adheres to the 3R approach boosted by scientists and environmentalists. It also prostrates the philosophies of sustainability and SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals) 

As per some definitions, recycling is the process of converting waste materials into new materials so that the impact of waste materials may be deterred and energy may be saved. 

Some of the common materials which can be recycled include:

  • Paper
  • Plastic 
  • Glass
  • Metals
  • Batteries 
  • Electronics

The most prominent use of recycling is that fewer amounts of waste are produced and sent to landfills. Therefore, if there is recycling, there will be better management of waste by the waste management authorities. 

Recycling would also mean that the negative effects of waste are avoided on the environment and life. For example, synthetic polymers like plastics may convert into microplastics when disposed of. These microplastics may cause all sorts of problems. 

These may include loss of life, toxiciation of water ecosystems, infiltrations into the food chains, medical complications, and soil pollution – to name a few. 

However, if materials like plastics are recycled then there is less chance for these negative impacts. At least, there is a way to deter and avoid these impacts as long as biodegradable and non-biodegradable materials and products are recycled. 

Another advantage of recycling is that it leads to the conservation of natural resources. To explain this, let us take an example of paper. Paper is obtained from trees and it is a biodegradable product. If the paper is not recycled and disposed of instead, then it means that to meet the need for more paper, there will be further cutting of trees. 

This will impact the world in a very negative way because natural resources like trees and water are already very limited. If there is no recycling, there will be unsustainable misuse of resources which will steer us away from the fundamentals of sustainability. 

Recycling is not just great for the environment but also for the economy. Because recycling involves reusing products, that means that half of the work is already done. 

This gives a positive jolt to the economy and the budget. There is lesser use of energy and non-renewable resources. 

This also means that recycling is a measure to make sure that there are fewer GHGs in the atmosphere so that the issue of global warming may also be tackled. 

This is important because global warming leads to countless other environmental problems as well that may include rising sea levels, insect attacks, unprecedented weather patterns, melting of glaciers et cetera. 

Another major benefit of recycling is that there is less pollution when producers and manufacturers resort to the practices of recycling. This is because there is little to no collection of raw materials and resultantly, the effects such as pollution and environmental toxicity are also avoided in this way. 

Can dry cleaner hangers be recycled?

The article has assessed the various materials used for the making of dry cleaner hangers. These are: 

  • Wood
  • Plastic
  • Steel 

All these materials can be recycled and therefore, it can be concluded that dry cleaner hangers can actually be recycled to save the environment from the negative impacts of wood, plastic and steel. 

A detailed account of the impact of wood, steel and plastic has already been given in the previous sections of the article. 

Conclusion

Dry cleaner hangers may be made from plastic, wood and steel. Plastic dry cleaner hangers are the most common because of their good utility and reasonable price. Steel hangers are also used but are not that durable. Wood hangers are expensive and are mostly used by upper-class people. 

There are environmental impacts of all types of dry cleaner hangers. Wood dry cleaner hangers imply the cutting of trees and the consumption of non-renewable resources. 

Plastic and steel hangers mean that non-biodegradable waste is added to the environment at the expense of petroleum-based products like coke. 

These effects can be subdued by the recycling of dry cleaner hangers which will lead to better waste, resource and environmental management. 

Frequently Asked Questions: Can dry cleaner hangers be recycled?

Are hangers biodegradable?

Wood hangers are biodegradable but plastic and steel hangers are not biodegradable. 

What types of plastics are used in hangers?

Polycarbonate and polystyrene are used to make hangers. 

References

  • Singh, N., Hui, D., Singh, R., Ahuja, I. P. S., Feo, L., & Fraternali, F. (2017). Recycling of plastic solid waste: A state of art review and future applications. Composites Part B: Engineering, 115, 409-422.
  • Björkman, B., & Samuelsson, C. (2014). Recycling of steel. In Handbook of recycling (pp. 65-83). Elsevier.
  • Besserer, A., Troilo, S., Girods, P., Rogaume, Y., & Brosse, N. (2021). Cascading recycling of wood waste: A review. Polymers, 13(11), 1752.
  • Merrild, H., & Christensen, T. H. (2009). Recycling of wood for particle board production: accounting of greenhouse gases and global warming contributions. Waste Management & Research, 27(8), 781-788.

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