Hard Hat Recycling

Welcome to the

National Hard Hat Recycling Scheme

Every year, the UK throws away several million end-of-life hard hats. These are normally just thrown into general (plastic) waste where, because of the way recycling systems work, the chances of them actually being recycled back in to new plastics is minimal.

The National Hard Hat Recycling Scheme aims to change that by diverting hard hats into a dedicated waste processing facility, thereby ensuring all hat waste is fully recycled.

There are two ways to participate, become a member or send hats on a one-off basis.

We also work with other distributors/aggregators around the UK who wish to send the hats in.   

The scheme is a membership scheme, whereby registered members can send their hard hats directly into a dedicated hard hat recycling facility where they will be destroyed, with all of the plastic being fully recovered and made back into “new” plastic pellets. These pellets are then sent back in to UK manufacturing as a raw material. In this way, all hard hats are fully recycled right here in the UK. So members can rest assured that their waste plastic materials are being fully recovered, responsibly, and won’t be ending up being dumped, whether home or overseas, to be left as an environmental hazard.

Please note that the scheme is only for hard hats however, not general PPE.

It’s very simple. Members simply send their end-of-life hats directly into a specialist UK plastics recycling company called Yes Recycling. You can send as many or as few hats as you want to, however you want to, and as often as you want to.

So whether it’s just one or two hats popped into carboard box and sent from your local post office, or whether it’s a full lorry load of hats that have been consolidated from sites nationally, it’s all up to you to decide…. whatever meets your needs best.

And, best of all, there is no charge (other than your postage / logistics cost) for sending the hats to Yes Recycling.

When Yes Recycling receive hats, they will send you out the appropriate “receipt of waste” paperwork, either directly to the sending site, or to a central administration – that’s for members to specify. This paperwork is your proof that your hats have been properly disposed of, and that they have been recycled.

At Yes Recycling all hats are completely destroyed, by being shred down into 10mm flakes. These flakes are then 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. Thus your hats are fully recycled.

To join the scheme, you will need to download and complete the membership form which is available for download on this site.
There is also a small annual membership fee for joining the scheme, which your organisation will need to pay. This small fee is further banded to the size of your organisation, and it is effectively there to cover the management and paperwork cost relating to the administration of the scheme.

Once an organisation joins the scheme, all their sites are covered – so there is no need for each individual site office or regional office to join separately. However, we would ask that sperate legal entities, such as joint-venture projects join independently.
Membership fees for 2023 have been banded as follows:

Number of employees and annual cost
1-30 employees – £150 + VAT
31-100 employees – £300 + VAT
101-250 employees – £500 + VAT
251-500 employees – £1000 + VAT
501-1000 employees – £2000 + VAT
1001+ – £3500 + VAT
Registered Charities – £0

Hopefully you’ll agree that these membership fees represent an economical participation for a responsible system for dealing with this element of your overall waste.

Additionally, there are no membership fees for distributors or manufacturers of PPE who aren’t consuming hats and sending them in for recycling but are instead only promoting the scheme to their client base.

We are also pleased to be able to apply no membership charge to registered charities.

In addition to providing a properly managed outlet for your plastic waste hard hats, membership also confers the right, under licence, to use the scheme’s

“We Recycle Our Hard Hats” logo. We will provide members with a full electronic logo pack for use in different applications.

How do we send hats in for recycling?

  1. To send hats in for recycling, please download and complete the “Sending My Hats” form available on this website, and send it by email to: info@yesrecycling.org
  2. Then print one copy of the completed form and include that copy with the hats (for example inside the box that you are sending).
  3. Please download and print the “Address Label”, also available on this website. Please complete this and tape to the outside of the box that you are sending or otherwise give to the courier as a delivery note. This label contains the address of Yes Recycling, as well as important and legally required information for the postal service.
Any more questions, then call: 0330 133 9170

Additional resources

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