Kimberly-Clark Professional and TerraCycle are expanding the world’s first cleanroom and laboratory garment recycling initiative to include gloves, after reaching key collection milestones in the programme’s first six months.
Since the programme’s launch in October 2011, participating cleanrooms and laboratories have sent in over 7,000 pounds of garment and nonwovens waste, including coveralls, hoods, boot covers, hair nets, and masks, to be recycled into plastic products such as plastic lumber, park benches, and picnic tables.
Participating locations have requested more than 1,000 pallets of collection boxes to return additional garments, signifying that collections are on track to reach more than 350,000 pounds in coming months. Kimberly-Clark Professional and TerraCycle are actively pursuing additional locations for garment collection.
“The launch of the programme was a tremendous success," said TerraCycle CEO Tom Szaky. “The reaction shows a need for recycling in this area, as well an industry desire to give a second life to garments and gloves. This new direction has been beneficial to TerraCycle, Kimberly-Clark Professional, laboratories and cleanrooms, and most importantly, the environment.”
Companies can order the recycling programme through approved Kimberly-Clark Professional distributors and receive a package with everything required to initiate garment recycling in their facilities.
TerraCycle then collects, converts and resells all waste materials as either bulk nonwovens plastics or eco-friendly consumer products. The company’s bar code system allows K-C to track waste reduction and report that information back to each facility, allowing customers to quantify their reduced environmental footprint.