Dallas Zoo Partners with Kimberly-Clark Professional to Keep Nitrile Gloves out of Landfills
The RightCycle Program works with universities, research and manufacturing facilities, zoos and a variety of other businesses to take hard-to-recycle products, such as used gloves, protective apparel and safety eyewear, and convert them into new consumer goods. For the
"When these gloves go to a landfill, they can be consumed by wildlife or they can wind up in our oceans and harm marine life," said
Keeping plastic waste out of the environment is an integral part of the zoo's commitment to create a better world for animals. That's why the zoo partnered with The RightCycle Program to recycle the nitrile gloves that it uses for animal care, cleaning and food preparation.
"We enjoy being able to show our guests various ways to change their behavior," College said. "For example, a lot of our zoologists wear the gloves during animal encounters, and they say to guests, 'This is one more way that that we're creating a better world for animals. We wear these gloves and we recycle them.'"
The program has been enthusiastically received by both zoo employees and visitors. In addition to telling visitors about The RightCycle Program, the zoo shows guests what happens to the gloves after they are recycled.
"We purchased plastic flowerpots to show how used gloves go to The RightCycle Program to be turned into plastic products like the ones guests see around the zoo, with plants that benefit local pollinators, and herbs that we use as scent enrichment activities for our animals," College said. "And our guests are super-impressed. They don't realize that glove recycling is an option. They appreciate the extra steps we take to make these changes, and see us at the forefront of a program that is redirecting a large volume of waste in such a utilized way."
The RightCycle Program is the first large-scale recycling initiative in the scientific and industrial products industries for non-hazardous laboratory gloves, single-use apparel and safety eyewear. The used products are transformed into flowerpots, shelving, lawn and garden furniture and other goods by U.S. manufacturers. Since 2011, the program has helped zoos, aquariums, universities, research facilities, and a range of businesses divert more than 830 tons of waste from landfills.
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Terry Balluck, Kimberly-Clark, email@example.com