A recycling program is saving personal protective equipment from laboratories across the U.S. and keeping it out of landfills. Just as necessary as his lab coat, Paul Brewer says nitrile gloves help protect him and his work as a molecular biologist. “We wear gloves to protect ourselves from chemicals or other hazards,” Brewer said. “And then it’s also really important for protecting the quality of our samples and our research.”

Brewer works at AnaptysBio, a biotech company in San Diego.  He said their laboratory’s 40+ employees can use as many as 200 pairs of gloves daily.  To keep that waste out of landfills, they started participating in the RightCycle program, which takes hard-to-recycle single-use personal protective equipment, like gloves, masks, and eyewear and transforms it into new consumer goods, like pellets, flower pots, trellises, and plastic furniture.

Brewer said they have kept more than 400 pounds of lab glove waste out of San Diego’s landfills yearly. “I think it was just a great way to take something that otherwise can’t be reused or recycled and repurpose it, keep it out of the landfill,” he said.

To read the full story, visit https://spectrumnews1.com/ky/northern-ky/environment/2024/03/26/recycling-program-gives-new-life-to-lab-waste#.
Author: Bree Steffan, Spectrum News 1
Image: Spectrum News 1