Recycling firm don't look back in hanger

A SOUTH Yorkshire business is doing its bit for the environment - by helping Marks and Spencer with the country's first-ever plastic hanger amnesty.

Braitrim, based in Dodworth, Barnsley, was set up two years ago to recycle coat hangers for M&S, and now works with a handful of other retailers.

The factory hand-sorts the hangers and reuses them where possible. Where they can’t re-use they recycle the plastic and metal, using both to make new hangers.

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Now M&S has declared an amnesty on all plastic hangers, from any shop and not just M&S.

It is inviting the public to return them for recycling.

The scheme will be tried at just a handful of stores around the country, the nearest to us being Manchester, but if it is successful it will spread nationwide.

Research suggests Britain has 540 million surplus coat hangers, weighing 17,000 tons.

It is believed as many as 100 million of them a year are thrown away and sent to landfill, where they take more than 100 years to degrade.

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The average British home has 67 hangers, with 12 of them unused.

M&S already reuses or recycles the hangers which customers choose not to take home.

They are taken to be sorted in Barnsley, carried in lorries which would usually leave stores empty after making a delivery.

All intact hangers are shipped back to garment manufacturers to be reused, while damaged ones are ground down into pellets to be turned back into hangers.

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Even the metal hooks are melted down and reused and the cardboard boxes used to house the hangers are reused at least four times then recycled.

On the downside, the amnesty will not apply to the flimsy metal hangers dished out in their billions by dry cleaning outlets.