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Hard Hat Recycling Scheme

Hard Hat Recycling Scheme

Hard hats provide workers with essential protection from falling objects and other hazards. However, did you know that they are just another waste stream if they’re not recycled? The UK throws millions of hard hats away every year. But the good news is, one hard hat recycling scheme is changing the game.

The Problem with Recycling Hard Hats

Hard hats are usually made from high-density plastic like polypropene. You can't incinerate plastic as it gives off toxins. If it’s not recycled in any other way, it’s sent to a landfill. As hard hats need replacing after 3-5 years, this adds up to a lot of waste.

The National Hard Hat Recycling Scheme

Specialist plastic recycling company Yes Recycling aims to change the situation through its National Hard Hat Recycling Scheme.

The scheme provides a way to make sure hard hats go to a bespoke recycling facility at the end of their life. Hard hats are designed to be hard to destroy for obvious reasons. This makes recycling them a challenge. However, it’s not too much of a challenge for Yes Recycling. Its engineers designed a process to break the hats down and recover the plastic.

What Happens to the Plastic?

The hard hats are broken up into the different materials and shredded into tiny 10mm flakes. The flakes are then separated according to their polymer type and washed, dried, melted, and filtered. The end result is pellets which are reused in manufacturing.

Who Has Joined the Hard Hat Recycling Scheme?

There are scheme members across many sectors including transport, utilities, defence, wildlife conservation, tree surgery, extreme sports, and construction.

How Does The Scheme Work?

Any business or organisation that registers as a member can send their hard hats directly to a dedicated recycling facility for processing. Members can send as many hats as they want to, whenever they want to. After processing, members get a receipt as proof that the hard hats have been recycled.

My Business/Organisation is Interested - How Do I Join?

Does your business or organisation want to get involved in the hard hat recycling scheme? Just download and fill in Yes Recycling’s membership form.

To send in hard hats for recycling, members just need to:

  • Download and complete the Sending My Hats form and email it to info@yesrecycling.org;
  • Print out an extra copy of the form to send with the hats;
  • Download and print the address label and tape it to the outside of the box you’re sending.

The problem of plastic waste is one that none of us can ignore. That’s why we’re always happy to see innovations in plastic recycling like the National Hard Hat Recycling scheme. For more exciting articles on waste and recycling, check out the rest of our blog.

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