Each year, there is an estimation of more than 300 billion disposable gloves for industrial uses in the US alone. It is undeniable that they have a significant negative impact on the environment when not dealt with properly after being discarded.
But are nitrile gloves recyclable? We cannot recycle these gloves ourselves, as we have to send them to organizations that collect these wastes and use the right recycling technology. Still, the good news is that nitrile gloves are recyclable.
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Can Nitrile Gloves
As stated above, it is possible to recycle nitrile gloves. Still, not all nitrile rubber recycling periods are the same. For instance, it takes less time for biodegradable nitrile gloves to degrade than other non-biodegradable nitrile and rubber gloves.
In detail, we have to wait decades for these disposable gloves to decompose after releasing toxic chemical evaporation. But with the right recycling process, the biodegradable nitrile pairs might only take 1 to 5 years to decompose.
To many’s surprise, latex gloves decompose more quickly than standard nitrile pairs since they are more biodegradable. It also only takes around 5 years for latex pairs to degrade.
That is to say, using biodegradable nitrile and disposable latex gloves can partly reduce the release of toxic chemicals, including butadiene and acrylonitrile, into the atmosphere.
Which Company Recycles Nitrile Gloves?
As stated, the recycling process is so complicated that we can only participate in the first step: waste segregation. It means we need to separate our nitrile gloves into a different bin from the standard recycling one.
From there, the segregated waste will be picked up by companies to proceed with their nitrile glove recycling process to minimize the negative impact on the environment.
Instead of haphazardly throwing nitrile gloves away for them to end up in landfills, responsible individuals and organizations can join a recycling program partnership with companies in charge of recycling disposable gloves. The options are as follows:
TerraCycle is a popular and reliable company conducting recycling activities for sustainable development. As you visit their website, you can order the collection box, available in small, medium, and large sizes.
- Small boxes are 11 x 11 x 20 inches.
- Medium box measurements are 11 inches long, 11 inches wide, and 40 inches tall.
- The large box option measures 15 inches long, 15 inches wide, and 37 inches tall.
You can visit their website here to order the box, fill it with recyclable gloves, then get it shipped back for recycling: https://zerowasteboxes.terracycle.com/products/disposable-gloves-zero-waste-box.
Besides nitrile gloves, they also recycle latex gloves and other disposable pairs. However, they will not accept flammable or contaminated products.
You can visit their website here https://www.kcprofessional.com. The company works to recycle various personal protection equipment (PPE), including nitrile gloves.
If you are curious about the process, here’re the main steps of Kimberly-Clark glove recycling:
- Collecting utilized Kimberly-Clark PPE pieces at your location
- Transporting the used waste to the company’s recycling partner
- Sorting out the waste, then compressing them into pellets
- Creating new goods and products from processed materials
However, please know that their service is limited to PPE pieces utilized for non-hazardous tasks. Also, they only accept protective clothing, nitrile gloves, and safety glasses made by Kimberly-Clark themselves.
Medline glove recycling also offers a service similar to TerraCycle as they allow users to order collection boxes.
You can visit this site: https://punchout.medline.com to check out available package options. Anyone using their service should be aware that they will transport collected waste to facilities that transform waste into energy.
Indeed, they also do not accept hazardous waste contaminated with dangerous substances. Therefore, if you want to recycle disposable nitrile gloves for standard purposes, you can utilize their service.
So, are nitrile gloves recyclable? The answer to it is, luckily, yes. Through this article, you can hopefully choose the suitable type of disposable nitrile gloves to reduce decomposition time and recycling cost.
Furthermore, make sure you pick a reliable and convenient service to recycle used gloves. Please know that disposable gloves are indispensable for our tasks. Still, we can reduce their negative impact on the environment by recycling them the right way, starting with waste segregation.
This is Edward Manning, the editor in chief of Construction Informer. Quite a bit of my time is spent researching the market and interviewing experts in the field so that I can give you reliable information.