There are a thousand reasons why we use disposable gloves. Primarily, disposable gloves aim to protect the skin from harmful materials or chemicals from soap, cleaning aids, and poisonous substances. They are highly essential in all kinds of domestic work, healthcare, janitorial roles, and even industrial roles.
That being said, disposable gloves can be thrown away after each use. However, the disposal becomes an issue as it poses hazards in many ways, depending on the type of glove material you have.
Different Types of Disposable Gloves
There are different types of disposable gloves used for different purposes. Sometimes, their usage overlaps with each other.
- Polyethylene. These disposable gloves are very thin. They are used only for light-duty tasks that require constant changing of gloves, such as in food preparation.
- Neoprene (black disposable gloves). These gloves are intended for high-risk situations. They are good in protecting the hands from heat-related causes, such as flame or oil, and from harmful substances.
Neoprene is made of synthetic rubber; it is reusable but isn’t recyclable. Also, the materials used in manufacturing neoprene gloves aren’t safe for the environment.
- Latex. Latex is a popular choice in many applications. Its versatility sometimes surpasses the qualities of other disposable gloves. However, the increasing demand in any field, including healthcare, has also called for increasing issues on the gloves’ allergic reactions to the skin. Thus, the clamor for latex-free disposable gloves has emerged.
- Vinyl. Vinyl disposable gloves are not environmentally friendly. It is known that PVC, where vinyl is made, is a petroleum-based film. Vinyl disposable gloves make good disposable gloves as an alternative to latex, but they are weaker and have poor quality protection against chemicals. They are only good in low-risk hazards.
- Nitrile. With similar qualities to latex but without an allergic reaction to the skin, disposable nitrile gloves are heavily favored in many applications.
Are Disposable Gloves Bad for the Environment?
Yes, they are. Disposable gloves cannot be recycled, and millions of them end up in landfills every year. Also, these disposables can take decades to break down. To make the matter worse, a staggering 65 billion gloves are used globally every month. That’s a lot!
Are Latex Gloves Eco-Friendly?
Latex itself is made from a natural rubber material, which is, in fact, biodegradable. Latex, however, will take at least five years to biodegrade.
Another type of latex glove is synthetic latex, which is not biodegradable. If you are concerned about composability features, make sure you only purchase the natural latex version.
Take note that the amount of plastic waste accumulation in oceans is forecast to triple in the next two decades. There is no actual resolution in sight. But if every corporate pledge to utilize more recycled plastics is kept, the reduction of harmful plastic is projected to triple by 7%.
Compostable Disposable Gloves: The Eco-Friendly Solution
Business owners who are looking to reduce their environmental impact should switch from vinyl and disposable nitrile gloves to compostable disposable gloves. These gloves have many great uses, from food preparation and cooking to serving. They can also be used in cleaning and painting. However, compostable disposable gloves are not recommended to be used when handling solvents.
But why are compostable gloves considered an environment-friendly solution?
Firstly, compostable products, including compostable disposable gloves, are made from organic or plant-based materials that break down and decompose in the right environment. They are also renewable sources.
Secondly, compostable products do not leave behind toxic residues because they are organic, to begin with. As their decomposition produces humus, this can help reduce the production of waste and even improve soil health.
Compostable disposable gloves are often made from corn resin, an organic and renewable material. Corn resin is non-toxic and produced from corn starch. With corn being an annual crop that grows back every year, disposable gloves that are made from this material are both biodegradable and sustainable.
Furthermore, the production of compostable products requires less usage of petroleum, an environmental hazard. These bioplastics also emit fewer greenhouse gases compared with their traditional counterparts.
Plant-based plastics are meant to break down faster than regular plastic and are safer for the environment. However, if the right environmental factors are not present, such as sunlight and optimal temperature, it could take just as long for them to biodegrade as conventional plastics.
Bonnie Bio – Sustainable Compostable Packaging in Australia
Whilst there are different types of disposable gloves for certain purposes, choosing the right one should not only suit your application but protect the environment as well.
With Bonnie Bio’s compostable disposable gloves, you are ensured of your health in all ways and our nature clean.
Many industries know they are making people safe by using gloves, but there are just a few who believe that wearing the proper gloves is all about protecting the community by and large. Hopefully, you are one of them.
Protect your health with Bonnie Bio’s disposable gloves. Contact us for more information.