Yes! Recycling

Solutions for recycling complex polymer waste such as plastic hard hats.

Yes! Recycling's story

Yes! Recycling provides bespoke, fully-managed recycling solutions for complex polymer waste-streams. They specialise in filmed plastics which can often be heavily printed, can frequently comprise multiple polymer types, and may contain mineral layers and metallic or thermoset inclusions. They also specialise in rigid plastics.

The company recycles a number of different polymer streams and therefore produces several different types of recycled polymer. These materials can be sold as either high-quality pellet or, for more cost-sensitive processes, as flake.

The National Hard Hat Recycling Scheme:

Every year, the UK throws away millions of hard hats. These are normally just thrown into general waste, and the chances of them actually being recycled is minimal. The National Hard Hat Recycling Scheme aims to reduce this waste and the more companies and local authorities that participate in the scheme, the fewer hard hats go into local landfills.

The scheme is membership based, and members sign up to send their end-of-life hard hats to Yes! Recycling. The company recovers 100% of the plastic from these hard hats: first, they shred the hats down into 10mm flakes and then the flakes are separated into their constituent polymer elements, washed, dried and then melted down and filtered. The pure molten polymer is then made back into brand new polymer pellets – which are the universal raw material format for all plastic item manufacturing.

Since its inception, this scheme has seen more than 10,000 hard hats saved from landfill and now has about 50 members from a range of sectors and businesses, including construction, transport, utilities, wildlife conservation and tree surgery.

Other Speciality Recycling Services:

Yes! Recycling also has a wide range of capabilities for processing waste plastic. As well as hard hats, the company has speciality recycling capabilities for bank notes, plastic bottles and clothing hangers.


Image: PPE Industrial Supplies

Useful learnings from our research

  • Before sending any complex polymers to landfill, look for specialty recycling companies that can process these 'non reusable' plastics.
  • Joining the National Hard Hat Recycling Scheme is a great way to bypass traditional waste disposal routes, thereby ensuring end-of-life hard hats go directly into reprocessing. Even though the process is not fully circular (the recycled material from the hard hats is not put back directly into new ones), recovering fully all valuable raw material used in making hard hats is a significant step forward.

Measures of success?

Tonnes of polymer waste diverted from landfill.

Read more: https://www.yesrecycling.org/

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