Setting the Scene
Recycling PPE, like cut resistant gloves and sleeves, helps a company reach their sustainability goals and washing gloves and sleeves with the intention of reusing them can often save 70% or more on annual PPE spend. It sounds like a no-brainer, right? So why are so many companies hesitant to implement and quick to cancel PPE washing and recycling programs?
Here are five of the main objections to glove laundering programs, the root causes of the objections, and how Closed Loop Recycling addresses these concerns;
Objection 1: My employees don’t want to wear someone else’s gloves
When you go to a restaurant, do you bring your own silverware? Do you demand a brand new set each time? You put it in your mouth after all! Of course not! You trust that the restaurant has properly cleaned the silverware and that it is safe for you to use! So, why don’t some employees feel that way with gloves and sleeves? The reason is education. Closed Loop Recycling understands this and spends time on site to educate as many employees as possible across every shift on the ins and outs of glove washing. Employees are shown how the laundering process kills 100% of bacteria, the safety and quality checks have prevented any recordable incidents, and the non-hazardous solvent has not caused any allergic reactions. Additionally, Closed Loop Recycling’s PPE washing process has been independently vetted by EMSL Labs in Houston, TX and found to eliminate 100% of bacteria, and employees are provided access to this report.
Objection 2: The gloves and sleeves shrink
There is a reason that certain clothing is ‘dry clean only’. Water washing is hard on textiles and the same is true of Kevlar and other para-aramid fibers often found in cut resistant gloves and sleeves. Closed Loop Recycling utilizes a dry cleaning process to lessen shrinkage and give you the cleanest possible textiles.
Objection 3: We are worried about safety, a loss of tensile strength, or reduction in cut resistance
During some manufacturing processes, metal shavings embed into gloves and sleeves, sharp edges cut them, and rubber or nitrile dip can wear down and affect dexterity. Plus, we just looked at how water washing is hard on textiles. So, it’s easy to see why this is a major concern. Closed Loop Recycling runs every glove, every sleeve, and every other piece of PPE through a metal detector that picks up both ferrous and non-ferrous metal. Following this, a thorough visual inspection is done to check for cuts, holes, rips, burns, worn threads, worn dip, or anything else that could compromise the safety and integrity of the PPE. Anything that does not meet the highest safety standards is removed from rotation. Additionally, DuPont research shows that the dry cleaning process utilized by Closed Loop Recycling does not, in any way, degrade cut resistance or degrade tensile strength.
Objection 4: The washed gloves smell
The nature of manufacturing usually means gloves and sleeves absorb fluids like oil, hydraulic fluid, and antifreeze that have very pungent odors. Nobody wants to wear sour smelling clothes much less anything that still has a chemical smell. Gloves and sleeves are no exception. While there is no way to get back that ‘new glove smell’, Closed Loop Recycling routinely cleans machines and filters, uses an odor eliminator during the dry cleaning process, and adds a steam dry cycle for gloves and sleeves. All of this virtually eliminates harsh odors.
Objection 5: Keeping up with the program is difficult because I have no insight into it
Without hard data points or metrics to hold a vendor accountable, companies are often blind to whether the program is effective, whether it is actually saving money, what opportunities there are for improvement, and whether they are even being billed correctly. Closed Loop Recycling provides detailed reports after each service that provides a snapshot of every piece of PPE received. Information includes which pieces (by size and type) passed all of the safety and quality checks, which ones didn’t (and why), and the scrap rate. This can be combined with your internal purchasing data to identify what percentage of each type of PPE used by your company is making it into the laundering process and broken down by size and type, how much savings your are seeing in real time. Also, each month a report is generated that outlines how many pounds of PPE have been diverted from landfill or incineration, and all of the reports are available 24/7 on Closed Loop Recycling’s Customer Portal.
As the industry leaders in industrial PPE sustainability, Closed Loop Recycling offers a free trial of our full-service glove recycling and sleeve recycling programs. Click above to start your cost savings journey.