National Hard Hat Recycling Scheme

Safety is of utmost importance in our industry and of course with that comes PPE and more specifically, hard hats. Technological advances in the production of this essential piece of safety wear means that they are now providing the highest ever level of protection for workers in the construction industry. Just like all protective equipment, we as an employer have a duty to ensure that we endeavour to provide our workers with the most up to date equipment, and this has led us to review the type of hard hat we issue to our employees.

Having recently looked at several types of hard hat, we finally chose to replace ours with the JSP Evo 3 which will also be issued with a 4 point chin strap for the best possible fit. JSP are a leading manufacturer in safety wear, and this particular hat comes with a 4 star rated external shell with an innovative ‘3d’ fit enabling the best fit to all shapes and sizes with just the turn of a wheeled ratchet. No more ‘in between’ fits that are too loose or too tight!

This leads us to the question of how we go about changing the hard hats for everyone in a company the size of Integral without having a negative impact on the environment. Every year millions of hard hats end up being disposed of in general waste, which means that they sit in a landfill for hundreds if not thousands of years. 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 and we are delighted to say that Integral is now a member of this scheme and can send hats in directly from across all sites.

How does it work?

It’s very simple. Members simply send their end-of-life hats directly into a specialist UK plastics recycling company called Yes Recycling. The hats are completely broken down into 10mm flakes, which are then separated into their constituent elements, washed, dried and then melted down and made back into brand new polymer pellets – which are the universal raw material format for all plastic item manufacture. Thus, our hats are fully recycled.

Just this one action will help to reduce our carbon footprint as a company, and coupled with other initiatives which are set to go live shortly, such as eliminating disposable plastic drinking cups on our construction sites and recycling other items of PPE such as high viz vests and gloves, we can rest assured that we are doing our bit to try to ensure we have a cleaner, greener construction industry.