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March 10, 2007


Price and placement of the product in store and on the website is still a big challenge.


Plastics made from corn (PLAs) are advertised as “biodegradable.” And they are. IF your back-yard composting bin is capable of reaching 140 degrees for a stretch of 10 days or more. And that only happens at industrial composters specifically set up for this kind of thing. In the average home composting setup, corn plastics remain unchanged after six months, leading to accusations of false advertising on the part of firms like Wal-Mart, which pushes corn plastics to consumers as part of its new push to green-wash their image.

I am not so sure if corn is the best option.


After working many years in retail, I would have to say that there are definitely ENOUGH HANGERS IN THE WORLD. Seriously, if production stopped today, I am sure that we would have enough hangers to suit our needs for years to come.

I have seen companies receive products on hangers, amass too many, then simply throw away (e.g. LANDFILL) hundreds, if not thousands of hangers annually. Background info: Many clothing stores get their products shipped to them already on hangers. Over time, these add up. If reuse programs were better established, hangers could be returned to manufacturers and distribution centers, reducing the need for new products.

As for the consumer's end of this issue, ask yourself several questions before purchasing new hangers:
1) Do I really need this? Consuming new products IS NOT GREEN, especially when reuse is an option. New products require significantly more resources (e.g. energy, water, etc.) for manufacture. Reuse always trumps the greenest of new products (with toxicity issues aside).
2) Can I reuse old hangers?
a) I get this feeling that wherever there a person who needs hangers, there is another with far too many. Communicate with your family, friends, and neighbors. You could be killing two birds with one stone by taking someone else's burdening overload. Yard sales, community centers, and neighborhood meetings are great places to strike up conversation. Heck, you could even organize a clothing swap (or just plain swap meet) to get the reuse ball a rollin'.
b) Communicate with retailers. When you buy, ask the retailer about the destination of the hanger your item was on. I have seen 30 yard dumpsters filled to the top with hangers at Target, TJMAXX, Marshalls, etc. Perhaps they will let you keep yours or even give you extras. Heck, you can even save the energy, grab a phone book, and let your fingers do the walking! Call around and ask retailers for hangers.
c) If you're feeling adventurous, take a peak around the back of those big box stores. When you look in the trash, remember that often hangers are thrown out NOT because they are broken or otherwise unusable. It's due to surplus. I've even seen cases where companies have even brought in special one-time super-sized dumpsters to dispose of hangers in.

Happy Reuse!

morgana Baie

Hi I work for a clothing company in California and we are trying to find out if we can buy these hangers for our line instead of buying the petroleum based hangers. We have tried to contact Merrick but they have not responded. We were wondering if you had any contact with the company and if you could maybe pass that contact our way. We just want to cut back on our plastic use and we use a LOT of plastic hangers.

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