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How to Recycle an Old Helmet

From our recycled cardboard and soy ink packaging, to seeking new materials, Bern is continuing to find ways for us to be more sustainable as a company. At Bern, Earth Day is Every Day, but in honor of this years’ Earth Day, we have put together recommendations and resources for ways to recycle parts of a retired helmet, rather than just throwing it away.

First, you’ll need to break down the helmet to its different components. This means cutting out the webbing straps, removing the interior pads and foam, and really separating the different materials. When breaking down your helmet, make sure to use appropriate tools and to take necessary safety precautions – we don’t want to hurt the environment, but we want you to be safe too!

If you still have your helmet labels or owner’s manual, check to see what shell and foam it uses. Depending on your helmet model, you can recycle the following materials:

ABS Plastic Shell
Recycle Nation explains here that some plastics are more difficult to recycle but makes recommendations to ask your local recycling center and ways to reuse.

EPU (Expanded Polyurethane) Shell
Pacific Urethane Recycling helps keep Polyurethane out of landfills!

EPS (Expanded Poly Styrene) Shell (foam on the interior of the helmet)
This must be fully separated from the rest of the helmet before mailing or dropping off. Check out this resource for drop off locations and mail back centers.

Nylon Webbing Straps, Buckles and Strap Dividers
Recycle Nation has a great article on how to recycle Nylon
Follow the Recycle Nation Locator to find a location near you!
We recommend potentially donating the plastic buckles to an Army Navy store, local theater, or trying to repurpose them yourself! Any fabric padding can also be donated to fabric scrap collections –local farmers markets often have fabric scrap collections/donations.


In addition to our recyclable packaging, Bern is currently looking into ways that we can help users recycle their helmets, into plastic-free packaging options, the sustainability of our supply chain, as well as looking into alternative material options for parts of our helmets. Love our Earth and #StayOutThere!


Media Contact: Quarter Horse PR, (646) 627-3644