Disposable gloves—how important are they? How many types are there?

The use of gloves is part of the personal protective equipment used to protect the wearer and recipient of service from cross-contamination in the workplace and from life-threatening diseases. This is necessary when working in a specific industry that requires a certain level of safety, such as hospitals or restaurants. 

Gloves should be replaced when it is punctured, soiled, worn more than the recommended hours and moving from one station to another. Disposable gloves are non-reusable and should be discarded once used. 


Different Types of Disposable Gloves

Different types of disposable gloves cater to specific types of industries. The best gloves should be comfortable, affordable and properly fitted. Among the types of gloves available in the market for different needs are as follows.



Latex gloves are among the most common disposable gloves available in the market,  and they are made from rubber, a natural material. These are a popular choice because they offer flexibility, durability and quality. 

Latex gloves fit snugly into the hands, making them comfortable to use for a long period. They don’t tear easily and do not compromise dexterity because they are extremely flexible. Latex gloves also offer good protection against pathogens. 

Unfortunately, one common concern of latex gloves is allergies. Avoid using latex gloves when with oils, gas and organic soil. 



These gloves are made from polyvinyl chloride and are a good alternative to latex types. 

Vinyl is soft and lightweight. However, it is not as durable as nitrile or latex and may not provide sufficient protection against strong chemicals and biomedical hazards. It has a low tensile strength, which means it tears easily. 

The vinyl glove is a popular choice in food preparation because it is cheap yet able to provide the necessary barrier against food contamination. It is also allergen-free, which is safe for people suffering from latex allergy.

Aside from food preparation, vinyl disposable gloves in Australia are perfect for simple tasks like cleaning. 



One of the versatile materials for disposable gloves is nitrile. It is the leading alternative to latex gloves, particularly for those who are suffering from latex allergies. It is a synthetic rubber that comes in different thicknesses, colours and sizes, which the wearer can choose. Additionally, it is durable, not easily torn or punctured, which is a perfect choice when dealing with sharps and fluids. 

Nitrile gloves fit snugly into the hands allowing the wearer to perform tasks that require finesse. They are often used in healthcare examination, food preparation, tattoo parlour, janitorial and maintenance services. However, nitrile is stiffer than latex, which can reduce dexterity and touch sensitivity.


Thermoplastic Elastomer

Thermoplastic elastomer (TPE) is a new addition to disposable gloves in Australia. It is an affordable glove that has the same elasticity as rubber, which results in better flexibility and resistance against broad chemicals. 

It is not as durable as nitrile, but is a good option to use for the public in replacement for nitrile and latex, which are commonly used in the medical field. TPE also has better elasticity, is easy to wear, latex-free and lightweight. 



Polydisposable gloves are the cheapest in the market. Polydisposables are made from low-density polyethylene (LDPE), the same material used in making plastic bags and disposable bottles. Given that LDPE is a non-leaching plastic, it is often used in the food industry. 

Polydisposable is cost-effective in the industry that requires frequent changes of gloves, such as food preparation. It is also powder-free and latex-free, which is suitable for anyone working in food handling. 


What Kind of Disposable Gloves Are Best?

The best disposable gloves depend on the needs and nature of work. There are many gloves out there that are made for a specific purpose. Knowing why you need to use a glove will help you find the best disposable gloves.

For disposable gloves, there are two types of purpose:

  • General use—This refers to food handling, maintenance services, janitorial tasks, automotive and salons or parlours. 
  • Medical use—This refers to gloves that are used in the healthcare and medical fields, such as performing a physical examination, administering medications and performing surgeries. Gloves used in the medical field should meet specific criteria, certifications and standards given by the authorities.

Gloves that are disposable should be used only once and disposed of properly after use. The gloves are made from thinner materials for dexterity and touch sensitivity. Reusing it can compromise the safety of the wearer, particularly those who are working in the healthcare field. 


Bonnie Bio: Sustainable Compostable Packaging in Australia 

The problem with using disposable gloves in Australia is that they can create a tremendous amount of waste, burdening the already fragile environment. The good news is you can be part of the solution by opting for greener alternatives, such as going for a bulk of compostable disposable gloves.

If you are looking for ways to reduce the amount of environmental waste, Bonnie Bio is your partner for sustainable packaging. We manufacture various types of compostable products, including disposable gloves for both business and commercial applications and home use.

Contact us now for details.