5 Amazing Facts about Nitrile Glove Recycling

Nitrile Glove Recycling

Now that we have used more gloves than ever in history.

We must know everything concerning our gloves, whether what to choose for each job or how to dispose of our used gloves safely. 

Today we will discuss nitrile glove recycling, to be specific.

Can we recycle nitrile gloves? What happens to them if they are not recycled? And how to recycle them exactly?

Why would we need to recycle used gloves in the first place?

In our modern society, environmental awareness has become a necessity.

Because of the drastic changes in our nature, people have become more aware of what to do and avoid doing to keep our earth safe for us and many generations.

That’s why modern societies now take environmental issues seriously.

People are actively looking for different ways to decrease their carbon footprint. From climate change to air pollution, from toxic acid rain to melting glaciers and polar ice.

Here comes our responsibility to reduce the damage as much as possible, and one significant way to do so is recycling. 

And because we use gloves in many different fields nowadays for protection from harmful chemicals and infectious diseases, we should know more about gloves disposal, recycling, and the best eco-friendly glove options.

Since nitrile gloves play a significant role in many industries because of their charming features and unique properties, we should discuss disposal and recyclability.

But also, what are nitrile gloves? What is nitrile glove recycling? When to use them? How to use them? And how to dispose of them? 

What are nitrile gloves?

Nitrile gloves are a form of rubber gloves; that rubber name is acrylonitrile butadiene rubber.

It is a form of Latex, but unlike regular Latex, nitrile does not have latex protein.

It is a synthetic version that ensures that the user does not suffer the same allergic reaction to nitrile gloves if they happen to have an allergic reaction to latex gloves.

How are nitrile gloves manufactured?

Manufacturing companies take the rubber from rubber trees, transform it into latex rubber, then add the acrylonitrile monomers and butadiene to bond together, forming the nitrile compound material.

That removes all latex proteins to make nitrile gloves Latex-free.

Can you recycle nitrile gloves?

The simple answer to this question is: yes, nitrile glove recycling is achievable. 

And it is essential to recycle them because they are not as biodegradable as Latex.

Are nitrile gloves eco-friendly?

Some people consider nitrile gloves a type of plastic due to their manufacturing process, while others don’t.

Unfortunately, regardless of whether we consider them plastic or not, it doesn’t change the fact that they do not echo-friendly as is.

And that is because the source of nitrile gloves material is crude oil which is a non-renewable source.

Meaning it causes pollution upon accumulation. Hence the destruction of the environment. 

That is why we highly recommend recycling nitrile gloves.

What is the recycling process?

The first step in the nitrile gloves recycling process, in general, is collecting the recyclable material in the appropriate place for the recycling program to pick it up.

Then the recycling company separates the materials and cleans them. 

Then the company processes the recycled product turning it into materials sold to manufacturing companies. 

After that, these manufacturing companies use these materials to manufacture many products.

Such as laundry bottles, detergent bottles, and drinking containers.

But in one case, nitrile gloves should not be recycled, but they should go to landfills, which is when nitrile gloves are hazardous waste.

When exactly should nitrile gloves go to landfills?

To understand what happens to the gloves in that case, we should know the following:

What are landfills?

Landfills are well-managed facilities used for the disposal of solid waste.

They are also well-monitored to ensure compliance with federal regulations. 

Moreover, they are designed to protect the environment from other contaminated waste. Landfills must have environmental monitoring systems.

The primary role of these systems is to check for any sign of groundwater contamination or landfill gas.

There are many different types of landfills depending on their hazardous waste type.

When do we place nitrile gloves in landfills?

Any waste with destructive or harmful properties for humans, animals, or the environment is considered hazardous. 

In the case of gloves, that usually means biohazards or chemical hazards. Of course, that depends on the field in which the gloves were used.

Meaning: if the gloves are contaminated by chemicals or bio-hazardous material, they are not considered safe to mix with regular waste.

Because if that happens, then the entire recycling batch is considered contaminated.

And that includes anything from chemically contaminated lab gloves to examination gloves.

You can use the recycling option if your used gloves do not fall under the hazardous waste criteria.

What are our options for disposable nitrile gloves recycling?

  • Basic recycling

This is the most accessible recycling approach.

All you have to do is place your used nitrile gloves in the general recycling bins. As long as they are not contaminated, the user should dispose of them with undifferentiated dry products.

So, Nitrile gloves recycling can be done.

  • Recycling program partnership

This is a more involved, more in-depth option.

A specialist assures you that your materials will be recycled appropriately.

Now that we know all there is to know about nitrile glove recycling, what happens to nitrile gloves if we dispose of them in nature without recycling them?

  • Biodegradation of nitrile gloves in nature

Nitrile gloves can take decades or even hundreds of years to degrade. And during the degradation process, they release acrylonitrile and butadiene into the environment, which is toxic at high levels and can pollute soil and water.

That’s why we strongly recommend  nitrile gloves recycling.

That makes nitrile gloves different from latex gloves, which can be broken down by nature without any problems.

And that difference is mainly because nitrile gloves materials are synthetic materials.

But we have to assure you that even though biodegradation products of nitrile gloves are toxic, nitrile gloves themselves are not harmful to the user in any way. They are safe to use.

Which is better for the environment: Latex, vinyl, or nitrile gloves?

From an environmental point of view, latex gloves are the most eco-friendly.

Because manufacturers create latex gloves from rubber trees, a natural source, they are the safest for the environment to break down because of their sustainability. 

But when comparing vinyl and nitrile gloves, nitrile gloves are much better than Vinyl gloves in durability and eco-friendly standpoint.

Vinyl gloves’ durability is not the best, which is why they are mainly used for food handling and cleaning jobs.

Here are ten reasons why you should use cleaning gloves.

That aside, vinyl gloves are the worst type of plastic for the environment, which is why they are on the other end of the spectrum to latex gloves. There are also many more differences between latex and vinyl gloves.

They release toxic chlorine-based chemicals into the air, water, and soil.

The use of and exposure to chlorine chemicals can lead to severe health problems that may include cancer. 

And that is why nitrile gloves are much better for the environment than vinyl gloves.

Now that we successfully covered the nitrile glove recycling and biodegradation part. We need to be aware of another serious issue.

How to dispose of nitrile gloves if they are contaminated?

If your nitrile gloves become contaminated while you are using them, you should follow the proper contaminated gloves disposal protocol to help prevent possible cross-contamination.

First, grasp the outside of the glove at the wrist. But you have to make sure not to touch your bare skin.

Then, peel the glove away, pulling it inside out, so the exposed side of your glove should now be the inner side.

After that, while holding the glove you have taken off by the other gloved hand, slide your non-gloved fingers into the glove you are still wearing from the inside and peel it off like the prior one.

Then turn the second glove inside out as you pull it away, leaving the first glove inside the second glove.

Last but not least, dispose of your used gloves safely to ensure they are never reused, and wash your hands immediately for at least 30 seconds thoroughly with soap and water.

Why use nitrile gloves?

Nitrile gloves are disposable,  inexpensive, flexible, and highly protective gloves. Different industries and different fields are really on nitrile gloves.

And they are durable and highly resistant to punctures and harsh chemicals. 

Here is your guide to chemical-resistant gloves

Moreover, different tests have proven that nitrile gloves’ tear resistance is four times higher than latex gloves.

Click here to learn more about the difference between nitrile and Latex gloves.

And also, it is much easier to detect holes in nitrile gloves than in Latex gloves.

Last but not least, nitrile gloves come in many colors, sizes, and thicknesses, and there are many different uses for different shades of nitrile gloves

Why are nitrile gloves user-friendly?

Nitrile gloves offer the perfect alternative for people who suffer from latex allergies.

Also, workers in many fields say nitrile gloves are the most comfortable for long hours. They perfectly fit each hand size.

Moreover, nitrile gloves provide a long shelf life. Nitrile gloves show a high shelf life going up to 5 years. That is, of course, if you store them under the right conditions. 

And also, nitrile gloves are the most suitable for high-sensitivity tasks. Nitrile gloves material is durable and the same time, strong.

Even more, nitrile gloves are waterproof and offer high-temperature resistance. They can withstand heat ranging from 40° to 108°F (40° to 226°F).

And last but not least, nitrile gloves recycling and reuse can be achieved.

check now ten types that can be reused!

Who uses nitrile gloves?

For the average user, in the age of Coronavirus, nitrile gloves use has been very effective in protecting against infection.

Moreover, many hospitals now include nitrile gloves in their equipment because of their charming qualities.

 And also, nitrile gloves are perfect for many jobs; they offer excellent protection in complex mechanical tasks, from sharp objects, against chemicals, wounds, and cuts. Many different fields rely on these gloves, such as:

  • Dentists

Because nitrile gloves offer significantly high puncture resistance, they are also available at reasonable prices.

They also offer protection to patients who may suffer from latex allergies. 

There are also many different types of gloves that dentists prefer to use in their line of work.

  • Chemists

Nitrile gloves have a high capacity to withstand harsh chemicals. You can use them for a prolonged time, and they won’t be easily affected by chemicals. 

Some chemicals and solvents that nitrile gloves provide resistance against are chlorinated solvents like perchloroethylene and trichloroethylene.

They also offer protection against grease, oils, caustic agents, acids, and alcohol.

But beware that these gloves are not resistant to aromatic solvents, ketone, or potent oxidizing agents.

Some chemicals that nitrile gloves protect you against are:

Acetic acid, benzalkonium chloride, ethanol, formaldehyde, glutaraldehyde, hydrogen peroxide, nitric acid, paraformaldehyde, phenol, povidone-iodine, sodium hydroxide, and sulphuric acid.

  • Food industries

Nitrile gloves are ideal for workers who frequently change gloves, like food workers.

They are textiles and offer high protection against microorganisms, so food workers can use them for food preparation or cleaning around the kitchen.

And because the food industry is a sensitive matter. Here is our comprehensive guide on things to avoid when choosing suitable gloves for your food service career.

  • Handling mechanics

We recommend using nitrile gloves in this field because of their ability to withstand harsh chemicals and relatively high temperatures. 

  • Pharmaceutical field

Because handling chemotherapeutic agents can be critical for the caregiver, nitrile gloves offer optimal protection against chemotherapeutic agents that might cause mutagenic effects due to their high chemical resistance. 

Also, nitrile gloves fulfill the American Society of Testing and Materials standards for protection against chemotherapeutic drugs, which means they are the optimal choice in this field.

Of course, if the caregiver has to handle chemotherapeutic drugs for an extended period, we recommend changing the pair of gloves frequently. We also recommend the use of double gloves.

  • Medical field

Nitrile gloves are a double barrier for healthcare professionals when they are used to examine patients. They can also use them when they handle biological materials or dispose of medical waste.

Surgeons also use nitrile gloves as well, and that is because nitrile gloves offer the highest protection for healthcare professionals all across the different varieties of the medical field.

Why choose synthetic nitrile gloves over natural rubber gloves?

  • Latex-free properties

Nitrile gloves are Latex free, unlike natural rubbeLatexves, which makes them suitable for anyone that suffers from latex allergy.

This quality is essential for health care professionals because they must be careful not to cause a patient’s allergic reactions while examining them if they have a latex allergy.

Do you happen to have a latex allergy? Here are latex gloves alternatives that a lot of people use around the world.

  • Chemical resistance

As we mentioned earlier, nitrile gloves offer high protection against various chemicals. Nitrile gloves are more chemically resistant than Latex gloves. 

  • Comfortable to use

A fun fact about nitrile gloves is that when they become warmer by body heats, they conform better to the hand shape, so the gloves fit more snuggly and ideally on the hand.

This quality is beneficial in fields requiring delicate and precise hand movements, such as surgery.

On the other hand, nitrile gloves have lower friction properties than natural rubber.

That makes nitrile gloves easier to wear and take off. That is because manufacturing companies apply finishes on the gloves to make modeling and taking them off much more accessible.

  • High puncture resistance 

Nitrile gloves’ resistance to puncture and tearing is much better than latex gloves.

This is an essential quality in gloves, no matter who uses them or for what. You use gloves to protect your hands from infections, punctures, and chemicals or to protect someone else.

This is why it is essential that your gloves can protect you and last for an extended period.

In conclusion,

Nitrile gloves have a lot of uses, and they are integrated into many fields and tasks in our daily life.

And it is part of our social responsibility towards the environment that we ensure not to increase pollution and help reduce it in our daily tasks.

That is why it is so essential to choose recycled and recyclable gloves. And we concluded the process of nitrile glove recycling, so thankfully, we are helping ourselves and our environment by using nitrile gloves.

As always, please stay safe and ask us any questions you have in the comments. We would be more than happy to help.

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