How to dispose of plastic hangers?

Plastic hangers are ubiquitous in our closets, often accumulating over years of clothing purchases, dry cleaning services, and organizational efforts. As we become more conscious of our environmental footprint, the question of how to dispose of these plastic hangers responsibly becomes increasingly important. This guide will walk you through several sustainable methods to ensure your plastic hangers do not contribute to landfill waste.

1. Reuse and Repurpose

Before considering disposal, think about how you can reuse or repurpose your plastic hangers:

  • Organizational Tools: Use them to hang accessories like scarves, belts, and ties. They can also be handy for hanging items like extension cords in the garage.
  • Craft Projects: Plastic hangers can be used in various DIY projects. For instance, you can transform them into plant holders or wreath frames with some creativity.
  • Donations: Local charities, shelters, or thrift stores often need hangers. Check with them if they accept hanger donations.

2. Recycling

Recycling plastic hangers can be challenging due to the various types of plastics used. Here are steps to ensure they are properly recycled:

  • Check Local Recycling Programs: Not all recycling programs accept plastic hangers. Contact your local waste management facility to see if they do.
  • Special Recycling Programs: Some retailers and dry cleaners offer recycling programs specifically for hangers. Stores like Target and some dry cleaners accept plastic hangers for recycling.
  • Separate Components: If possible, disassemble hangers into their component parts (e.g., metal hooks and plastic bodies) to facilitate easier recycling.

3. Upcycling

Upcycling involves creatively transforming old items into something new and useful:

  • Garden Markers: Cut and label hangers to use as plant markers in your garden.
  • Mobile and Wind Chimes: Plastic hangers are used as the base structure for making decorative mobiles or wind chimes.
  • Storage Solutions: Bend and reshape hangers to create hooks and racks for storage in closets or garages.

4. Proper Disposal

Plastic Hangars

If none of the above options work you must dispose of your plastic hangers:

  • Trash: As a last resort, dispose of plastic hangers in the trash. Ensure they are securely placed in a trash bag to prevent them from becoming litter during collection.

5. Prevention

The best way to manage plastic hanger disposal is to prevent accumulation in the first place:

  • Opt for Alternatives: Choose wooden or metal hangers that are more durable and often more easily recyclable.
  • Mindful Purchasing: When buying clothes, consider asking the retailer to keep the hanger, especially if it’s plastic.
  • Reusables: Bring your hangers to the dry cleaners for reuse to reduce the number of new hangers you accumulate.


Disposing of plastic hangers responsibly requires a bit of effort, but it’s a significant step towards reducing environmental waste. By reusing, recycling, upcycling, or donating, you can extend the life of these items and minimize their impact on the environment. Most importantly, adopting preventive measures will help you avoid the accumulation of plastic hangers in the future, contributing to a more sustainable lifestyle. Remember, every small action counts towards a healthier planet!

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