Here's One Sweet Hard Hat

"By developing a hard hat sourced from sugar, we have reduced the overall carbon footprint that’s associated with the entire life-cycle of this particular product, from start to finish," said Eric Beck, MSA's global director of Strategic Marketing.

MSA recently introduced a new product in its V-Gard® line of hard hats -- one made from sugarcane. The V-Gard GRN (for green) Hard Hat was developed and manufactured by MSA in Brazil, using high-density polyethylene (HDPE) sourced entirely from sugarcane. "By developing a hard hat sourced from sugar, we have reduced the overall carbon footprint that’s associated with the entire life-cycle of this particular product, from start to finish," said Eric Beck, Pittsburgh-based MSA's global director of Strategic Marketing, in an MSA news release.

Beck said for each ton of polyethylene that is made from sugarcane ethanol, up to 2.5 pounds of carbon dioxide are captured from the atmosphere. Polyethylene sourced from petrochemicals emits more than 2 pounds of CO2 into the atmosphere, however. "Green" polyethylene also is 100 percent recyclable, he said.

"The environmental advantages of using 'green' HDPE in a hard hat are certainly attractive and are what initially captured our interest," said Dr. Thomas Muschter, MSA's vice president of Global Product Leadership. "But at the end of the day, we would not be using this material if it didn't provide the same high level of head protection that our V-Gard brand is known for around the world. That's what makes this product option so attractive. The HDPE sourced from sugarcane provides the same performance and properties as resins made from nonrenewable raw materials."

"Environmental sustainability is more important than ever today, and our development of a sustainable hard hat provides MSA customers with yet another way to demonstrate their commitment to preserving the planet. For green construction projects or for companies focused on sustainability initiatives, we think the V-Gard GRN Hard Hat provides a perfect fit," Beck said.

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