Global business and branding solutions provider, SML, has today announced the launch of its innovative EcoHanger™, which uses recycled chipboard, aiming to eliminate over 50% of plastic usage to meet the growing needs for sustainable retailing.
Over fifteen billion hangers are produced globally each year which typically end their lifespan at checkout and immediately sent to landfill as most traditional hangers cannot be recycled. However, as consumers are becoming more environmentally conscious and more willing to embrace sustainable solutions to reduce plastic waste, retailers and brands are exploring ways they can meet these needs.
SML’s EcoHanger™, with patents pending, is currently undergoing pilots with US retailers. The EcoHanger is comprised of a plastic hook made from commonly used material such as polypropylene or polyethylene. Its shoulders are constructed from at least 60% recycled pulp fiber-based chipboard which can be easily attached to the plastic hook at the garment factory.
The plastic hook, produced in several global locations from a widely available material that can be locally sourced in almost any location, has been designed to be recirculated and reused throughout its lifespan – reducing the volume of hanger produced globally each year and decreasing overall costs, waste and plastic usage. The hook can be detached at checkout and processed for recirculation whilst the chipboard can be processed for recycling.
“Like all plastic waste, traditional hangers contribute significantly to the harmful chemicals that leach into our groundwater,” comments Eric Rhyner, VP of Print Packaging Solutions and Sustainability at SML Group. “SML recognizes the importance to change and improve processes and deliver sustainable solutions for retailers to reduce the impact that we are having on the planet.
Rhyner continues: “The development of our EcoHanger™ meets and exceeds retailer requirements in design, aesthetics, performance and innovation. With consumers and retailers becoming increasingly conscious of reducing our reliance on single-use plastics, there is a need to introduce options which are better for the environment, whilst optimizing how we operate”
SML’s EcoHanger™ is the latest product innovation in the EcoInspire™ collection, which was launched earlier this year with a goal to drive innovation and inspire retailers with ecologically sound solutions.
The EcoHanger has passed GS1’s test standards, and in many cases outperforms conventional, all plastic hangers. With the launch of EcoHanger, SML will continue to innovate by further extending its EcoInspire™ collection to provide more sustainable and environmentally-smart solutions.