Biodegradable Nitrile Gloves

Day 294 – During the pandemic there has been an endless amount of personal protective equipment (PPE) and sadly most of it goes into the trash. There are some companies that will recycle some of it, but most is used once and discarded. One company created a product that has been widely used this past 19 months and even if it ends up in the trash it will breakdown in a reasonable amount of time without releasing toxic chemicals.

SHOWA Group, with its U.S. operations based in Menlo, Ga., employs 230 in Fayette, where they manufacture two kinds of gloves made of nitrile, a hypoallergenic synthetic rubber that is an alternative to latex. In one year, the factory can produce 400 million individual gloves. If that sounds like a lot, consider that an estimated 100 billion gloves are thrown away each year – when there’s not a global pandemic.” – AL.com

The company has two glove types,  a lighter green glove and a heavier black one that are used in several different fields. They are the world’s first biodegradable gloves. There is organic additive added to each glove. The shelf life of the gloves is not affected by the additive. When the gloves are sent to the landfill the organic additive attracts microbial activity. The glove is digested by microbes and turned into biogases and nitrous soil. After 6 months, 20% of the glove is broken down. After 5 years the entire glove is broken down, which is much better than the typical 100 years for most gloves.

SHOWA saw a problem and came up with a solution. One can only hope that this is just the beginning to other much needed biodegradable products.

Tomorrow, expanding the forests, upward.

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