How many pairs of disposable gloves does a commercial cleaning company go through a day? And what happens to them when they are discarded into site waste streams? These are the questions we have been asking and the answer did not sit comfortably with us.
Each year, City & Essex issues on average 236,150 pairs of disposable nitrile gloves to its employees, equivalent to 1.4 tons or the weight of an average car! The reality is most nitrile gloves are not recyclable, rarely reusable and consequently destined for landfill where they will take over 100 years to degrade.
For years we have weaved through cleaning exhibitions and shows in pursuit of a disposable glove manufacturer presenting new sustainable solutions but with no success, until now.
At the end of 2019, we were thrilled to learn that the industry’s leader in performance hand protection - SW had introduced EcoTek Biodegradability Technology into their product range.
EcoTek is an additive to the SW Powerform S6 gloves that attracts microorganisms that consume, metabolise and break down the material into three natural compounds - organic soil, methane and carbon dioxide. SW trials have proven that their EcoTek range drastically elevates the rate of biodegradability to 92.6% in standard landfill within 2.5 years.
SW are also firmly focused on delivering unrivalled hand health and are the first protection manufacturer to achieve the globally recognised independent dermatological assessors - Skin Health Alliance accreditation. Our research has shown that allergies to type II latex in our employees is a very common health issue and we hope the SW Powerform S6 EcoTek gloves will make a positive impact.
Russell Blunt, Office Manager at City & Essex said: “We are very excited to be the first commercial cleaning company in the UK to be providing hand protection that not only reduces our environmental impact but also ensures our employees are not exposed to potential skin irritations as part of their essential PPE.”