Armour Recycling Program
At VestGuard we understand that our job does not end at the point of sale. Essential personal protective equipment (PPE) such as ballistic protection, must remain fit for purpose to ensure the safety of those wearing it. VestGuard’s range of aftersales services give customers peace of mind that the lifesaving equipment they have purchased continues to protect their people throughout the life of the vest.
When body armour, and other protective products reach the end of their useful life, VestGuard now takes the trouble and expense away from our customers to properly dispose of these products once they are no longer suitable for reuse.
In the past this old kit would be disposed of or sold on to the public or other sectors. However research and experts now know that over time the fibres inside body armour start to degrade, which can have an impact on the level of protection offered by the armour inside the vest. Typically body armour is issued with a guarantee period at sale which indicates the recommended point at which the vest reach its useful life cycle and should be replaced. During the life of the armour it is unclear how often it has been used, how it has been treated, or if it has been subjected to intense heat, cold or submerged in water or other fluids which all can accelerate the degradation of the fibres inside.
Part of today's corporate and human responsibility to others, as well as the planet requires this armour to be disposed of in an economic environmentally friendly manner, whilst also helping companies to reduce their carbon footprint and actively promote their commitment to helping the environment. Recycling also takes the product out of service and cannot be reused in the same manner, which could be dangerous and cost lives. Everybody gains if we recover these products and reprocess them in an economical and environmentally friendly way.
VestGuard accepts all volumes of used body armour equipment, no matter the original manufacturer, and our devoted team will undertake the painstaking process of breaking apart into its various raw material groups.
Fabrics and outer covers
Covers are emptied and graded according to their condition. Any covers that are in relatively good condition get married together with usable armour panels and distributed to Not for Profit Demining Programs who's volunteers work tirelessly to rid the world of mines left over from past conflicts.
Fabrics that are not able to be reused as clothing are upcycled to form parts of other products, like bags and pouches, by aid programs around the world. This eco-friendly recycling process puts the old material into struggling communities globally to create jobs and usable products without the need for fresh materials, providing a cost-effective and responsible way of keeping materials out of landfill.
This material is reduced to pulp that can be used in other applications, such as reinforcing infrastructure, roads, tyres, vehicle brakes and buildings to improve wear and tear reducing the impact on the environment and improving performance.
Raw material applications
- Reinforcing infrastructure (e.g. road and building materials)
- Reinforcing brake pads, tyres and industrial plastics
In addition to these applications, some armour is assessed by our experts and found to still offer an element of blast protection. These items are up-cycled into our Not for Profit Demining Program. After a full rework, and new covers, this equipment is distributed to charities who's volunteers work tirelessly to rid the world of mines left over from past conflicts. Mines claim the lives, or mortally wound thousands every year in countries around the world and VestGuard is actively working to keep these heroic workers protected.
Helmets and hard armour plates
These products are recycled into other industries for non ballistic repurposing. These include:
- Construction industry as hardcore for roads, concrete structures and other infrastructure.
- Training facilities for military and civilian learning
- Gym and fitness industry
- University and college based learning
If you have any old body armour, ballistic helmets, hard armour plates or shields, please contact our team who will be able to guide you through our recycling process.