Three reasons to stop using single-use, plastic gloves

Credit: AlessandroBiascioli / Shutterstock

Have you noticed how many businesses have introduced plastic gloves for their staff? Open your eyes and you will see people everywhere with plastic gloves on. Spoiler: At the doctor’s office is probably the only time you see them used correctly. 

The pandemic has strongly influenced our daily behavior, that’s why you see gloves at restaurants, stores or even at airports. Even though wearing plastic gloves to keep oneself safe from infections does not seem like a bad idea at first, here are some reasons to stop using single-use, plastic gloves. 

Cross-contamination

There has been a huge misconception regarding the use of plastic gloves in our society as they are seen as hygienic. Disposable gloves may avoid direct contact with bacteria and viruses, but germs still survive on the surface of the gloves. Often, they are not replaced with new gloves after each touchpoint, making it possible to spread those germs around your belongings and other people. This is especially relevant for workers, who have to wear them for several hours a day, risking cross contamination.

Here is a video explaining the problems of cross contamination from a hygienical point of view:


Cross Contamination
Credit: Molly Lixey, Youtube  

Skin irritation

Another problem with plastic gloves is skin irritation and dry skin. After being in continuous contact with plastic materials for several hours a day, our skin gets irritated, causing wounds, rashes and cracks. Workers often have no other option as they are bound to use gloves as a hygienic measure – but as we already know, this is often just a hoax.

Credit: Ternavskaia Olga Alibec / Shutterstock

Plastic waste and recycling

Besides the hygienic risk and skin problems, disposable gloves have a vast impact on our waste industry as consumers often do not know how to use and dispose of them correctly. It is estimated that since Covid-19 65 billion plastic gloves are used in a month - which makes a total of 2,2 billion gloves a day.*

In our calculations we found out that this would make a total amount of 128 832 cubic meters of plastic waste - that is 1571 truckloads of plastic waste a day, which is inacceptable!**
As the number of plastic gloves are rising, so is the amount of plastic waste. Since disposable gloves are full of germs after their usage, recycling is no option and they have to be thrown away into the residual waste.

Plastic waste Credit: Mohamed Abdulraheem / Shutterstock

Introducing sustainable gloves

ElephantSkin has recognized these flaws regarding disposable gloves and used them as an inspiration: "What if we find a solution to replace plastic gloves with sustainable ones and make them antiviral?". 

Hence we came up with ElephantSkin gloves, which are made of sustainable and recycled materials and have the lowest possible CO2 footprint. Treated with an antiviral and antibacterial technology, their surface is 99,9% effective against germs, preventing cross-contamination. Furthermore, the gloves are reusable as you can wash them up to 30 times without losing their functionality. 

ElephantSkin used at a coffee place

 

"We go head-to-head against everyday problems of today and tomorrow" – with this mindset a new product was invented. ElephantSkin founder Raphael Reifeltshammer saw potential in creating a sustainable alternative and eliminating the existing problems coming with disposable gloves.

Interested? Try ElephantSkin for your business today! 

For more information follow us on our social media accounts and get our latest updates:

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For the avoidance of doubt

ElephantSkin gloves do not replace single-use gloves in medical (sterile) use cases.
ElephantSkin gloves are not intended to replace washing hands. 
ElephantSkin gloves are an option for people not able to wash their hands regularly. 

 

Sources
https://www.greenmatters.com/p/face-masks-gloves-litter-coronavirus, 11.12.2021
**Based on our source above we calculated: 4.4 billion pairs of gloves equals 88 million packages of disposable gloves (size of 5.5 x 12.2 x 24 cm, containing 50 pairs) are consumed in a day and calculated the volume of one packages. Volume of a truckload totals up to 82 cubic meters.
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