CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Two Charlotte natives are on a mission to stop the use of single-use plastic hangers at major retailers, and they’re taking on a familiar brand: Old Navy.
“It's so mind-boggling to think that so many massive corporations still use these single-use plastics,” said Carson Philbin in a YouTube video that’s now gone viral.
He and his friend, Jackson Dumas, are taking on Old Navy, saying the company used plastic hangers once and throws them away.
“My first job I ever got my senior year of high school was working at Old Navy down in south Charlotte,” Dumas said.
That’s when he realized how Old Navy was operating as he saw it daily, he said.
“During what was later described as a slow week for business, we collected more than 5,000 discarded and unwanted plastic hangers from my Old Navy. That's over 265 pounds of trash by Gap’s standards,” Dumas explained in the YouTube video.
Gap is the owner of Old Navy.
It’s why they’re demanding Old Navy stop its use of plastic hangers. They believe the company could switch to wooden hangers, reuse the plastic hangers, or their main goal: stop the use of plastic hangers entirely.
“We want to eliminate their plastic use,” Philbin said.
The friends are concerned with the negative environmental impact the wasted plastic will have.
“Your time is up; you've gotten away for too long, end it now,” Dumas added.
In a statement, an Old Navy spokesperson said:
We can all agree that plastic waste is a problem. And we recognize our responsibility to leave our planet better than we found it for the next generation. We’ve been working on a more sustainable solution for our use of plastic hangers: after exploring biodegradable hangers, we launched a hanger recycling program in the Portland area earlier this year that we are expanding to 500 of our U.S. stores. Simultaneously, we’re working toward a global reusable hanger program to deploy across all Old Navy stores within the next 18 months that will further reduce our environmental impact.
However, Dumas and Philbin said that 18-month plan is too long.
It’s why they plan to hold a protest outside Gap’s headquarters in San Francisco on Friday.
“Maybe other companies that look up to them will also make a change,” said Philbin.