Woman working on a production line with clothes hangers

Mainetti Case Study

14th June 2018

Mainetti’s closed loop system delivers both environmental and commercial advantages

Key Facts
Mainetti’s re-use and recycling centre in Wrexham diverts 350 million plastic hangers and accessories from landfill per annum. This is the equivalent of 10,500 tonnes of plastic waste
All black hangers produced by Mainetti UK are made using recycled plastic
Good hangers are redistributed to apparel producers more than 10 times
An effective closed loop, circular system has been created
Mainetti’s carbon footprint has reduced by 75%

Summary

As issues regarding the environmental impacts of products are of increasing concern to businesses and consumers, retailers, garment producers and their supply chains are all seeking to make better use of the resources available to them. One company for which good environmental practice is a prime consideration is the Mainetti Group.

Mainetti is the largest global supplier and recycler of plastic garment hangers with recycling plants across the globe. At their Wrexham-based centre, 350 million hangers and accessories from the UK market are re-used and recycled annually, preventing them from being disposed to landfill. A total of 260 million hangers are reclaimed and reused each year with the remaining being processed to recover 5,000 tonnes of plastic material, which is then used to make brand new hangers at their manufacturing sites in the UK and abroad. The result is that a closed loop, circular system has been created – with a carbon footprint reduction of 75%. All material generated through the granulation of the old hangers is reused to manufacture new products.

Background

Established in Italy in 1961 by four brothers, Mainetti pioneered hanger recycling on behalf of its customers in the late 1960's and has managed re-use programs for its customers since the mid 1980's. Today, Mainetti operates extensive re-use programs in Europe and the United States of America and redistributes hangers for reintroduction into the supply chain through its global network of companies.

Mainetti's customised re-sorting / re-use facilities provide a highly efficient service to customers – from collection, through inspection and sorting, to reintroduction within the supply chain. Re-use and recycling are expanding activities within the Mainetti Group, which are underpinned by continuous investment and the company’s commitment to this important part of the hanger supply market.

All hangers are designed with re-use and recycling in mind, enabling each one to make the journey around the globe from Mainetti’s manufacturing sites, to apparel producers, to UK stores, and back to Mainetti in Wrexham for sorting, or recycling and reproduction. The hangers are ultimately redistributed to apparel producers more than 10 times!

The Supply Chain

At the end of its useful life, each hanger is recycled and the recovered material is used to make brand new hangers, which reduces virgin manufacturing feedstock costs. Equipment that is unique to Mainetti, together with the processes used in the recycling activity, ensures that all of the waste streams are managed in the most environmentally responsible manner and that none of the waste material generated goes to landfill.

Mainetti's re-use and recycling schemes are developed in partnership with its customers. The company actively encourages them to return the highest possible number of recyclable hangers to their facility, and provides the necessary support and advice in order to achieve this. Returned hangers are carefully inspected and only those that meet high quality standards, set by Mainetti and approved by its customers, are reintroduced to the system. This approach helps to prevent 10,500 tonnes of plastic from being disposed to landfill.

Continuous Improvement

But it doesn’t stop there. At the heart of Mainetti is its environmental standpoint and by constantly researching new ways to reduce pollution and wastage, The Group seeks to minimise its impact on the environment. For example, at their Wrexham site, the cardboard boxes used to return hangers from stores are re-used and only recycled when not suitable for further use. The business source-segregates it’s recycling, keeping cardboard, plastic film and metal separate for collection, and is exploring areas for further improvement, with some help from WRAP Cymru to identify profitable opportunities.