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Reduce Environmental Impact & Glove Waste

If the Profession Requires Single-Use Gloves, You’re Leaving a Landfill Legacy

Conventional single-use gloves are a critical component to personal safety but it comes with a trade-off to environmental pollution.  The gloves you dispose today will be around for several centuries!


You have just finished treating a patient or perhaps going on break and you throw your dirty gloves into the trash. You don’t think about the trash again. On pickup day, the garbage gets dragged to the curb, the contents get loaded onto a garbage truck and off it goes. You don’t have to think about that garbage again either. But in case you didn’t realize it, there’s a dark side to wearing single-use hand protection.bulldozer covering single use gloves

"It cannot be right to manufacture billions of objects that are used for a matter of minutes and then be with us for centuries".

On a global scale, the environmental impact of glove waste is devastating. An estimated 180 billion pairs of single-use gloves are thrown away each year — enough to stretch to the moon and back 30 times where it will take centuries to decompose. This means virtually every disposable glove ever tossed into the trash unfortunately remain in landfills, including the very first nitrile gloves produced.

With so many gloves being consumed, now is the time to convert to a healthier choice for the planet. One solution to the rubber solid waste disposal problem is the production of biodegradable single-use nitrile glove gloves. They perform, protect and fit like the counterparts but decompose in only 1 – 3  years!


Litter on land almost always translates to litter in water sources and the pandemic has caused a significant increase in P.P.E. waste. If plastics weren't enough, environmentalists are now concerned about the increase in disposable gloves making its way onto beaches and subsequently into rivers, lakes and oceans where animals, individuals, ecosystems and communities are being negatively impacted. From accidental ingestion to cross-contamination and clogged sewer lines, typical single-use gloves will continue to wreak havoc on the planet for centuries to come.

With the outbreak of COVID-19, disposable gloves have been used more than ever during the last few years as personal protective equipment (PPE). Moreover, disposable gloves are commonly used every day in food service, food processing, hospitals, zoos, scientific laboratories, spas, salons, EMS,  manufacturing facilities, grow houses,gloves being buried for biodegradability testing museums, tattoo studios, and public places related to the production and packaging of foods and fruits. Increasing consumption of single-use protective gloves, throwing them away at random points, and reaching landfills is leading to significant environmental pollution.


As a response to the overwhelming amount of plastic waste and the growing climate crisis, new proprietary additives are being used to treat nitrile gloves so they break down or biodegrade in natural landfill elements at much faster rates than untreated conventional gloves, typically 1-3 years.


The future of disposable hand protection has arrived! Working to create a cleaner environment for a better tomorrow, SHOWA® EBT® and SW Safety EcoTek® brand of single-use nitrile gloves have achieved the GreenCircle® certification for single-use gloves that meet all the necessary qualifications to be certified for biodegradable claims. The ASTM D5526 certification demonstrated that:

  •  Showa® low modulus Nitrile Gloves featuring Eco-Best Technology® (EBT)  are certified to biodegrade 82% in landfill in only 386 days.
  •  SW® Safety Solutions produces a portfolio of innovation nitrile examination gloves featuring EcoTek® that are certified to biodegrade 92.6% in landfill in only 2.5 years.

These biodegradable latex-free gloves do not leave any toxic residue behind and offer the same barrier protection, performance and grip as their regular glove counterparts, but are much better for the planet! And they are available in a variety of popular colors such as green, black and blue colors, AND they’re competitively priced as well. With our impressive portfolio of biodegradable single use glovesachieving sustainability is in your hands!

If you’re seeking single-use nitrile examination gloves, you can make a positive impact on our planet! Now is the time to cover your team, protect our planet and switch to one of these sustainable styles today! What are you waiting for? All you need to do is tap the link and …

+ browse our Single-Use Sustainable Gloves here

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+click to download PDF Biodegradable Flyer