Plastic gloves are contaminating our world. During the COVID-19 pandemic, when many people quarantined in their homes, nature seemed to flourish. Dolphins supposedly returned to the canals of Venice, wild animals returned to the streets in prominent cities around the globe, and the levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere reduced drastically. As people started leaving their homes, a popular hashtag filled the internet – #WeAreTheVirus. The hashtag was usually accompanied by a picture of disposable masks and gloves littering nature.
Littering is not the only problem with plastic gloves. Even if they were to be disposed of correctly, it can take up to 100 years for latex gloves to decompose. The sheer mass of plastic gloves used unnecessarily in the pandemic is causing the earth a great deal of damage. In a leaflet about proper glove use, the WHO wrote, “The use of gloves when not indicated represents a waste of resources and does not contribute to a reduction of cross-transmission.” Not only are gloves polluting the earth – they cannot protect people from contamination over time.
The process of manufacturing plastic gloves is another issue. Plastic is produced with toxic materials like benzene and vinyl hydrochloride, creating byproducts that pollute the air and soil. The factories themselves in which the gloves are produced are also a source of pollution, as well as the gas required to ship the gloves to stores eventually.
Soapy offers an eco-friendly solution to hand hygiene. The CleanMachine dispenses the exact amount of soap and warm water needed for washing hands. This saves up to 65% of reagents and up to 90% of water, saving hundreds of dollars yearly. Because the smart machine heats water specifically per wash, it is efficient in electricity usage as well. TheCleanMachine tracks hands movements, highlighting parts of the skin that are not clean enough. It also has a facial recognition feature, storing individual and group user hand-hygiene information on the Soapy Wisdom platform. Managers have access to the information to help them ensure a high standard of hand hygiene in their facilities.
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