Kimberly-Clark adds another member to consumables upcycling programme

Since 2011, Rightcycle has worked with universities and research & manufacturing facilities to divert more than 830 tonnes of waste from landfills

The Dallas Zoo in Texas is the latest addition to Kimberly-Clark's recycling initiative for its products. 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.

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 US manufacturers. Since 2011, the programme has helped divert more than 830 tonnes of waste from landfills.

The US company has partnered with the Dallas Zoo to enact this programme. For the Dallas Zoo, participating in the programme isn't just about recycling waste from its own facilities, it's also about modelling responsible environmental practices to inspire others.

Shannon College, who runs the zoo's Green Team, said. "Our guests are super-impressed. They don't realise 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 programme that is redirecting a large volume of waste in such a utilised way."

In order to support the programme, Kimberly-Clark has also taken other measures:

  • Created a glove that has equivalent chemical holdout to thicker gloves, while reducing material usage by 50%.
  • Improved pallet fit, and more product per case has reduced the transportation carbon footprint of products.

Although more than 70% of companies have a high intent on sustainability, less than 20% follow through in implementing a solution.

Featured Companies

Kimberly Clark Professional (more information, website)