How can I reuse or recycle Tyvek overalls?

Tyvek overallsWe’ve had an email from Jane, asking:

I just wondered if you are aware of how to recycle Tyvek overalls?

My first question when I received this was “what are Tyvek overalls?” and Wikipedia informs me that Tyvek is the brand name for those “disposable” overalls that look like they’re made out of tough paper but are in fact made out of high-density polyethylene fibres (apparently).

Wikipedia also informs me that DuPont, who makes Tyvek, there is a programme in place for reusing them in the US (according to the Tyvek FAQ, “non-contaminated garments used in cleanroom operations can be recycled for non-hazardous applications. Contact DuPont Protective Apparel Customer Service for additional information”) and I have emailed to see what they offer and where they offer it. (I’ll update when I get a response.)

I also asked them about other green disposal suggestions – their FAQ says the preferred method of disposal is landfill (!) but they can be incinerated (!!) – so we’ll see if anything comes of that. But in the meantime/in addition, does anyone else have any other ideas?

(Photo by Jsjacob)

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13 Responses to “How can I reuse or recycle Tyvek overalls?”

  1. Lupa says:

    They look useful for gardening, cleaning and general “dirty work”. (Only the noncontaminated ones, though!)

  2. jAMES says:

    U Could use them for a party. imagine if u had like 20 suits i would invite 20 friends and hand paint every suit something different.

  3. Bobbie says:

    Being a bee-keeper this suit looks perfect for protective wear. Seems to me that it could be gently washed.

  4. Joe says:

    That’d make a good Halloween costume, Mardi Gras costume, or movie costume.

  5. Kate S-B says:

    How about for painting and decorating?

  6. Liz says:

    My boyfriend and I used a couple and splattered paint on each other in the backyard to make fun outfits to wear to a school dance. After that, we pulled them out to use when we did a graffiti cleanup and we’re still keeping them to use for anything else that could use a funny suit :)

  7. stamechad says:

    Can use it to make festivalarmbaand or an adgangskontrolarmbaand

  8. If the material is coming from production than we can buy this material. send me details in

  9. I know contemoporary embroiderers who have used it in their work but I am a bit anti the process as it requires you to melt the Tyvek releasing strong fumes in the air. But it does give a great texture which you can then sew into.

  10. janice says:

    Send me your old tyvek mailing envelopes. (not the overalls though!) I have a great business using/recyling them. If you want to save the earth send them my way!!
    PO Box 91568, Portland OR 97291

  11. For the poster who is looking at recycling Tyvek, my company, Garment Recovery Systems, recycles Tyvek products.

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