Viridor Launches the UK’s First
Ever Hard Hat Recycling Scheme
The waste firm Viridor has launched the first hard hat recycling scheme which looks set to divert complex plastics from landfill. The hats will be transformed into new plastic products including bins. The company, which is based in Taunton, has joined forces with Devon Plastic recycling company Polymer Industries, to come up with a recycling solution.
A Viridor spokesman said that hard hats aren’t usually commercially recycled because of their complex plastic composition and an average hard hat is only used for between 2 and 5 years. He added that Viridor and Polymer Industries have a mutual goal to take complex plastics out of the general waste stream.
Polymer Industries say that they want to show that it’s not necessary to cut plastics out of our lives to reduce them, we just need to find the best ways to recover and recycle them.
The companies have successfully trialled the scheme with Babcock International Group, and so far, they’ve recycled 1,200 hats.
The new scheme is currently running in South West England and it has the potential to expand further as other companies seek new sustainable waste management opportunities.
What are hard hats made of?
Hard hat shells are usually made from a number of different materials. Most of them are made from some type of thermoplastic such as polyethylene (HDPE) or polycarbonate. This is because these materials are lightweight, durable, and easy to mold. Some hard hats can also be made using fibreglass or aluminium.
Hard hats also often have strips of nylon webbing or bands of nylon or vinyl inside, with polystyrene inserted into the cavity.
Brow pads are often attached to the hat to make it more comfortable, and these can be made from foam-backed vinyl or special fibres that are designed to absorb sweat.