Saving money on personal protective equipment (PPE) is guaranteed with Closed Loop Recycling’s program. Take a look at our most recent case study to learn how one of our customers experienced significant savings.
A Closed Loop Recycling (CLR) employee met a manufacturing plant’s environmental manager at a tradeshow, which led to a meeting with CLR’s Territory Manager. Together, they were able to discuss how the plant could save money by recycling their PPE with CLR.
A manufacturing plant was purchasing $260,000 per year in PPE. The specific PPE they use is cut-resistant Kevlar gloves and sleeves, which are required for various applications throughout the plant. After use, staff were disposing of the used gloves in a landfill. The gloves cost $6 per pair, and the sleeves cost $7 per pair. The plant has about 300 employees, with about 200 using the bulk of the cut-resistant gloves and sleeves.
What We Found
Plant facilitators gave CLR a tour of the facility, allowing our recycling professionals to inspect applications where employees used gloves, sleeves, or other personal protective equipment (PPE). Then, they inspected the quality of used gloves and sleeves from various departments. It was determined that less than 30% of the PPE likely had holes, rips, and tears upon disposal. Generally, PPE was disposed of because they were covered in oil and coolant or because the employees simply grabbed a new pair at the start of a new workday. At the initial meeting, it was determined that the site wanted to initiate a free trial laundering through CLR to assess cost savings and laundered quality.
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The CLR Territory Manager set up a collection drum in the most convenient area of the facility and provided brief training to area managers to pass along to their teams. It was determined that CLR would coordinate a trial drum pickup when the drum was full. We informed the prospective client that a minimum of 50 lbs of used PPE is needed for the most accurate trial quality results. Within 1 week, the drum was full, and CLR picked it up on a service route the following week.
Once the used PPE was received at the CLR laundering center, the free trial laundering process began:
- CLR took “before laundering” pictures to later pair with “after laundering” pictures to provide to the client.
- The drum was weighed to provide sustainability metrics.
- The items were laundered and dried.
- The items were metal detected:
- Less than 2% of overall items rejected by the metal detector were identified and set aside.
- Then, the items were checked for quality assurance.
- An additional 21% of items were determined to be “scrap” due to holes, rips, or tears.
- The remaining 77% of items were paired back together and determined to be “good” and ready for reuse.
- The final tally of scrap vs good items for each size and type of PPE were assembled on a processing report.
It was determined that at the trial scrap rates, the customer would expect annual PPE savings of approximately $130,000 (50%). A goal was set to drive down the scrap rate to under 10%, which could allow for savings of $170,000 (65%).
After the trial was complete, the CLR Territory Manager scheduled to meet with the client onsite to bring back the recycled gloves, along with a proposal. The proposal included a processing report, sustainability metrics, before and after pictures, and a comprehensive price per pair that was approximately 80% less expensive than buying a new pair (including the collection container and transit).
By recycling PPE for reuse, the client determined that the CLR program saved them about $165,000 annually.
Training Decisions and Other Customer Savings
The client decided to implement CLR’s recycling program. Once the service agreement was signed and CLR was on-boarded as a new vendor for the client, the program was implemented by the CLR Territory Manager.
A day was picked for implementation 2 weeks in advance. CLR arrived onsite and set-up eight collection locations with signage around the plant. CLR also set-up six distribution racks for laundered gloves and sleeves for Service Reps to refill every other week. Employees were trained on the new system, and we stayed onsite for a full day, providing brief employee training for each of the three shifts. New, clean gloves and sleeves can be checked out of the vending machine with employee ID (1 pair per 2 weeks). After the bi-weekly allowance, employees can grab more gloves and sleeves from CLR distribution racks.
Upon program maturity, the scrap rate fell to 7%, including metal detector rejected items which continued to hover around 2%.
- Original cost of gloves & sleeves annually = $260,000
- Cost of CLR laundering program + supplementing new pairs as needed = $95,000
- Environmental impact = 11,550 lbs. of PPE reused and kept out of the landfill
Reduce Your PPE Costs Today With Closed Loop Recycling
Closed Loop offers recycling solutions for several industries, including aerospace, automotive, packaging, and metal stamping. No matter what industry you’re in, we’re the recycling experts. We offer best-practice solutions for cleaning a variety of PPE, such as gloves, sleeves, aprons, jackets, and safety vests.
When you choose CLR, you’re choosing a company that believes in recycling just as much as you do. We’re here for a purpose, and that purpose drives multiple results, such as cost savings, clean equipment, and environmental impact. Contact us today to learn about how we can help your company with our recycling solutions.