Latex Glove

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Education

The term latex refers to one of two possible definitions: the milky, white product of the rubber tree that is used to make natural rubber; or a synthetic product made (also known as nitrile) from petroleum.

Rubber made from natural latex is biodegradable but synthetic rubber is created through a process known as polymerization. This process creates long chains of molecules called polymers. As these polymers are designed to resist weathering, they do not break down anywhere near as fast as natural latex. 

Reduce

Reduce synthetic latex glove use where possible as these do not biodegrade.

Choose reusable gloves over single-use ones.

Choose properly biodegradable gloves where possible.

Reuse

There are many occasions when washing and reusing latex gloves makes sense: crafters wash and reuse gloves, also gloves used for routine household cleaning are good candidates. Keep these reused gloves separate from any which might come into contact with food or hazardous substances.

If gloves are made of natural latex then they can put into compost where they would be considered a brown compost ingredient (source of carbon).

Make an interesting mould or statue by filling with clay, plaster-of-paris or cement.

Recycle

Synthetic latex cannot be recycled.

Disposal

The environmental impact of used-glove disposal has become an increasing concern for all industries. In a landfill, residual chemicals such as accelerators can leach out, and the nitrile itself will resist degradation.