Are Plastic Hangers Recyclable

In today’s ever-changing environment, it’s more important than ever to be aware of the materials we use and the impact they have on our planet. Plastic hangers are a common item used to hang clothes in most households, but are they recyclable? 

The truth is, plastic hangers are not always recyclable and can be difficult to dispose of responsibly. However, with the right knowledge and resources, you can make sure your plastic hangers are recycled properly.

In some cases, they may not even be accepted by your local recycling center. It is best to contact your local municipality or waste management company to determine the best way to dispose of plastic hangers.

FACT: It is estimated that 10 billion plastic hangers are thrown away each year in the United States.

These hangers are rarely recycled, and instead end up in landfills, where they take hundreds of years to decompose and pose a risk to wildlife. Burning plastic hangers in landfills also releases harmful toxins into the air.

How Can You Recycle Plastic Hangers?

Plastic Hangers

Recycling plastic hangers is a great way to reduce the amount of plastic that goes into landfills and helps to conserve resources. Recycling plastic hangers helps to reduce energy use, water use, and CO2 emissions. Through recycling, plastic hangers can be broken down into their component materials and reused to create new products.

Here is a quick guide to recycling plastic hangers:

  1. Sort through your plastic hangers and separate them by color and type (e.g. shirt hangers, skirt hangers, etc.).
  2. Take your plastic hangers to a local recycling center or drop-off location. Many dry cleaners, laundromats, and thrift stores will accept plastic hangers for recycling.
  3. If you are unable to find a local recycling center or drop-off location that accepts plastic hangers, you can try contacting your local waste management company to see if they have a recycling program for plastic hangers.
  4. If you are unable to recycle your plastic hangers through any of the above methods, you can try repurposing them for use around the house. For example, you can use plastic hangers to hang up pots and pans in the kitchen or to organize tools in the garage.

Note: Based on recent statistics from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), plastic is one of the most commonly discarded materials in the U.S. In fact, more than 35 million tons of plastic waste was generated in 2017 alone. Unfortunately, only 9 percent of this plastic waste was recycled. Fortunately, plastic hangers are one type of plastic that can be recycled relatively easily. By recycling plastic hangers, we can help reduce the amount of plastic waste going to landfills and help preserve our environment.

Can We Recycle All Kinds Of Hangers?

Most hangers can be recycled, but it is important to note that not all hangers are made from recyclable materials. Plastic hangers, for example, are generally not recyclable because they are made from a mix of different types of plastic that cannot be separated and processed in a recycling facility.  There are two other main types of hangers – wooden and wire/metal. Both of these materials can be recycled provided they are separated properly. 

Wooden hangers are typically made from either hardwood or softwood, such as oak, pine, or cedar. Both types of wood can be recycled into mulch, sawdust, or even shredded and used as firewood. The most important step in recycling wooden hangers is to separate any metal pieces, such as the clips or hooks attached to them. These metal pieces should be separated and placed in the appropriate metal recycling bin. Once the metal pieces have been removed, the wooden hangers can be placed in the wood recycling bin.

Wire/metal hangers are typically made from either steel or aluminum. Steel hangers can be recycled into new steel products, such as steel rebar for construction projects. Aluminum hangers can be recycled into new aluminum products, such as aluminum cans or even new hangers. Like with wooden hangers, it is important to separate any non-metal parts, such as plastic clips or hooks, before placing the hangers in the recycling bin. This will ensure that the hangers are recycled properly and not contaminated with non-recyclable materials.

It is possible to recycle any hangers, provided they are separated properly. Separating any metal pieces or non-metal parts, such as plastic clips, ensures that the hangers can be recycled into new products. This helps to reduce waste and conserve resources, as well as helping to keep our environment clean.

Keep In Mind: It is important to note that while it is possible to recycle both wooden and wire/metal hangers, it may not always be the most environmentally friendly option. Wooden hangers, for example, may have been treated with chemicals to prevent decay or other damage. If these chemicals are not removed before recycling, they may end up in the environment. Similarly, wire/metal hangers may have been coated with paint or other coatings that can contain hazardous materials. We urge you to check with your local authority or recycling provider about whether the hangers can be recycled safely.

How To Dispose Of Hangers? 

How to dispose of plastic hangers


Donating plastic hangers to thrift stores, consignment shops, and second-hand stores is an easy way to ensure they are reused. Many of these stores accept plastic hangers and use them to display the clothes they sell.


Hangers are sorted into different categories and sent to the respective recycling centers where metal hangers are melted down and used to make other metal products, plastic hangers are melted into pellets, and cardboard hangers are recycled with cardboard and paper. Wood, foam, and other materials cannot be recycled, but they can be reused.

Dry Cleaning

This process removes dirt and stains from clothing and other fabrics, making them look and smell fresh.By utilizing a chemical solvent, typically perchloroethylene, which is heated and circulated through the fabric to lift dirt and stains.The hangers are then disposed of in a way that will not harm the environment.

How To Repurpose Plastic Hangers? 

Repurposing plastic hangers can be a fun and creative way to upcycle and reuse items you may have lying around the house. Plastic hangers are an inexpensive and versatile material that can be repurposed into many useful objects. Here are some ideas for how to repurpose plastic hangers: 

1. Paint Them: You can use spray paint or acrylic to give your hangers a makeover. You can paint them one color, or create a design. You can also use a stencil to add words, shapes, or patterns. Once you’ve finished painting, you can use the hanger to hang pictures, clothing, or other items.

2. Make Jewelry Holders: Plastic hangers can be the perfect place to organize and store your jewelry. Use a hot glue gun to attach hooks, beads, or wire to the hanger. You can also glue magnets to the back to make a necklace holder. 

3. Hang Plants: Use a plastic hanger to hang plants in your home or garden. You can spray-paint the hanger to match your style or leave it as is. Hang the plants in your windows, or on your walls for a unique way to bring nature indoors.

4. Create a Bird Feeder: You can repurpose an old plastic hanger into a bird feeder. Simply cut the hanger into two pieces, and then bend the bottom piece into a U-shape. Fill with bird seed, and hang it from a tree branch. 

5. Use as a Wine Rack: If you’re looking for a unique way to store your wine, try using a plastic hanger. Cut the hanger into two pieces, and then use a drill to create holes in the top piece. Hang the pieces together on your wall, and use the holes to hang wine bottles. 

By repurposing plastic hangers, you can give them a new life and create useful, decorative items for your home.

Can We Throw Plastic Hangers In The Bin?

Throwing plastic hangers in the bin is not recommended. Plastic hangers are not biodegradable, meaning they will remain in the environment for hundreds of years after being discarded, making them a serious pollution threat. Furthermore, since plastic hangers are made from petroleum products, they release toxic chemicals when exposed to the elements, which can harm human health and the environment.

Rather than throwing away plastic hangers, it is better to donate them to a second-hand store or give them away on a local online marketplace. They can also be cleaned and reused in the home, donated, or repurposed for crafts and DIY projects. If all else fails, contact a local recycling facility to see if they accept plastic hangers.


  1. Is there a difference between plastic hangers and other types of hangers?

    Yes, plastic hangers are usually cheaper, lighter, and more durable than other types of hangers. They are also more resistant to warping and won’t corrode like metal or wooden hangers.

  2. How can I tell if my plastic hangers are recyclable?

    Look for a recycling symbol on the hanger or the packaging; typically a triangle with the number 1, 2, or 5 inside. If your plastic hanger has this symbol, it can be recycled. If not, it is likely, not recyclable.

  3. What should I do with plastic hangers that are not recyclable?

    The best way to dispose of non-recyclable plastic hangers is to reuse them. If they are still in good condition, you can donate them to a thrift store or give them away to family and friends. If they are broken or too worn out to reuse, they should be thrown away in the regular garbage.

  4. Where to donate plastic hangers?

    If you are looking to donate plastic hangers, you can contact a local thrift store or secondhand shop, a local dry cleaner, or a local shelter or donation center.

    Make sure to call ahead and confirm that they are accepting hanger donations before dropping them off. These stores rely on hangers to keep their inventory organized and may be willing to accept donations.


On a final note, plastic hangers can be recycled, but it depends on the type of plastic and where you are located. Generally, hard plastic hangers can be recycled if you have access to a recycling program that accepts them. Soft plastic hangers, such as those made of polystyrene or PVC, are not typically recyclable.

Additionally, some municipalities or recycling centers may not accept any type of plastic hangers, so it is important to check with your local waste management or recycling services to determine the best way to properly dispose of them.

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