Are Webbing Slings Recyclable?
Is it possible to recycle nylon/polyester webbing lifting slings? We use hundreds of these a month and most of them are designated for single use.
You don't say in what capacity you use these webbing lifting slings, but I would guess from what you say that they are being used in a hospital, care home or some other medical capacity. The problem lies in their description: both that they are made of non-recyclable materials, nylon and polyester, and that they are designed specifically as single use applications.
Nylon and polyester are great materials due to their tensile strength, and they have many applications in our daily lives, including clothes. But unless the material is being specifically designed for long term use, like the ropes made for rock climbers for instance, then there is no guarantee of long term application and survival of the material. I would suggest that you try to talk to both the supplier and manufacturer of these slings, both to see if they would accept them back after you have used them once, and also if they might consider making slings that can be used several or many times.The manufacturer may be able to change their manufacturing processes, or at the very least, be able to suggest ways in which the slings could be used in another capacity. It does seem extremely wasteful that these slings are being thrown out after just one use. It cannot be energy efficient to manufacture a sling made from nylon and polyester, and then for it to be thrown into landfill after just one use.
I would suggest that if you get no joy from the manufacturer, then try to initiate a discussion in your workplace about how they could be reused. If they are specifically designed for one shot use, then of course there is a health and safety issue and they could not be used again to lift or carry someone. But maybe someone in the work place might have a bright idea on reusing them - maybe they could be used in some capacity for children's play, or even cut up and converted into ropes, strapping, or even bags.
The issue of recycling can be a lot of fun when several people apply their minds to it - in a coffee break for instance, apply a little creative thinking to the pile of webbing slings on the floor, and focus on saving this valuable resource from going in the landfill. You may be surprised with some of the ideas that you and your colleagues come up with. Good luck, and let us know.