During the outbreak of COVID-19, the use of latex gloves is one of the many ways people are protecting themselves from the virus. Therefore, latex gloves are an effective way to keep your hands clean of contaminants or harsh chemicals.
However, do you know how to dispose of latex gloves properly? Are they recyclable? Keep reading to find out these answers and more!
Can You Recycle Latex Gloves?
Latex gloves are not recyclable and should be disposed of by placing them in the waste bin. Furthermore, recycling facilities do not accept latex gloves because of the material they are made of, instead, they should be deposited into landfills where the gloves can naturally decompose.
So no, you cannot recycle latex gloves but there are eco-friendly and sustainable ways to dispose of them to minimize their impact on the environment. Continue reading for more information!
Can You Recycle Latex Gloves?
Unfortunately, latex gloves are not recyclable for several reasons.
First, latex gloves are made of sap from rubber trees, so this is unlike your typical recyclable plastics.
Secondly, latex gloves often endure exposure to harsh chemicals, bacteria, or even viruses in some lab settings.
For these reasons, latex gloves are not considered recyclable nor should you place them in recycle bins.
Furthermore, mixing latex gloves with other recyclables only gets in the way of processing other recyclables.
Instead, latex gloves should be placed in the trash bin with other municipal waste.
This brings us to the next set of topics regarding the disposal of latex gloves and some of the science behind them.
- How to dispose of latex gloves
- Are latex gloves biodegradable?
- Do latex gloves impact the environment?
Of course, we recommend placing latex gloves in the trash bin with other municipal waste.
However, there are some scientific explanations for why this is the most sustainable method for disposing of latex gloves.
How To Dispose Of Latex Gloves?
As you already know, latex gloves should be placed in the trash bin.
Furthermore, most recycling facilities do not accept latex gloves as they’ll only get in the way of processing recyclable items.
However, one thing you can do to make a difference in how latex gloves impact the environment is by thoroughly cleaning them before disposing of them.
This ensures that none of the harsh chemicals end up in the landfill where they can potentially mix with other chemicals to form leachate.
Leachate is a highly polluting chemical commonly found in landfills.
Therefore, the best way to dispose of latex gloves is to clean the inside and outside of the glove before discarding them in the waste bin to avoid contributing to landfill pollution.
Are Latex Gloves Biodegradable And Compostable?
Thankfully, yes. Latex gloves are biodegradable and have a minimal impact on the environment when sent to landfills since they biodegrade quickly.
Furthermore, the reason for this is that latex gloves are made of mostly rubber, which is a natural byproduct of rubber trees.
Natural substances like rubber biodegrade quickly, making latex gloves not only biodegradable but also compostable.
After a proper clean, latex gloves are a great addition to compost and can help enrich the soil.
Do Latex Gloves Impact The Environment?
Latex gloves do impact the environment when they are not cleaned before being thrown away.
Not only that, but in landfills, latex gloves can end up invading nearby aquatic ecosystems where they can accidentally be ingested by wildlife.
Although latex gloves contain mostly sap from trees, there are some artificial chemicals mixed into the gloves.
This is why aquatic wildlife that ingests latex gloves suffer health-wise, which results in damage to the entire ecosystem.
To learn more, you can also read our posts on whether you can recycle metal water bottles, whether you can recycle notebooks, journals, and coloring books, and whether you can recycle number 5 plastics.
Although latex gloves do impact the environment, properly disposing of them in the trash can after thoroughly cleaning them can make a difference and help them naturally decompose.
Therefore, although they are not recyclable they are biodegradable and if disposed of properly don’t cause too much harm to the environment and ecosystems.