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INNOVATION AT YOUR FINGERTIPS

 

A recyclable protective glove in an increasingly wasteful world

 

Innovation at Your Fingertips

Currently, 2.6 million metric tons of single use personal protective equipment or PPE are sent to landfills in the U.S. Furthermore approximately 300 billion single-use gloves are used and landfilled each year. In Sweden,1500 to 5000 metric tons of PPE plastic waste is generated each year, with single-use gloves making up a shocking 44% of that PPE waste. The environmental impact from non-biodegradable and non-recyclable PPE is not only seen in the U.S. and Sweden. It is felt worldwide.

 

The world health organization stated that due to COVID-19, global manufacturing and production of PPE has increased by 40% and is still on the rise. Unfortunately, the increase in manufacturing has not satisfied the increase in demand, as the demand for single use-gloves has increased 20x the normal level over the last couple of months. This has created a PPE shortage, which has led to the prioritizing the demand from healthcare facilities. Sadly, this leaves many workers in non-healthcare affiliated facilities, such as Waste Management unprotected.

 
Waste Management Solution

Waste Management workers currently go through 3-5 gloves per 8 hour shift. Using water soluble polyvinyl alcohol (PVA),                             gives facilities the ability to reproduce fresh new gloves after they have been contaminated. Unlike current single-use gloves, our reformable gloves are non-toxic and biodegradable

Benefits

Circular system reduces the amount of landfill caused by PPE

In house glove manufacturing decreases dependence on external supply chains

Mobile system allows gloves to be made anywhere

Plan for Full System

01/

PVA Shredder

The gloves are dismantled to enable efficient cleaning and elimination of any visible contamination 

02/

Cold Water Rinse + Dissolve with Hot Water

The shredded material is rinsed with cold water (PVA is minimally soluble in cold water), and the waste water is drained. Then the hot water is added, creating a PVA and water solution. For additional sterility the solution can be autoclaved and/or passed through a filter.

03/

Glove Recreation

The gloves are reformed from the clean PVA solution. This process was built and tested to confirm such process was possible. 

04/

Proper Storage

The gloves are stored in a unit with a relative humidity of 50%, to optimize the material property of the gloves when in use.

 
Marble Surface

What People are Saying

"I can't tell the difference between the PVA glove and nitrile gloves." 

Savitri Murthy

"These gloves give me better tactile sensing than nitrile gloves."

Charles Rasmussen

"It feels like I'm not even wearing gloves"

Sherry Zhang

Join the Live Q&A to find out more about user testing!

THE TEAM

Stanford University + Blenkinge Institute of Technology

Mentorship Team

Mark Cutkosky

Larry Leifer

George Toye

Jeff Wood 

Christian Askling

Ryan Ruvald

Tobias Larsson

Peter Blaschke

Ulf Pettersson

 

Akshay Aravindan

Cameron McHugh

Will Thompson

Becky Currano

 

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              aims to to turn waste into value and continue to uphold Volvo’s standards of 0 accidents, 0 waste, and 0 emissions.

TEAM VOLVO

Juhi Madan

Emily Yang

Bennett Bolen

Mikel Zuniga

Albert Eriksson

Adam Backman

Johan Stjernberg

Marcus Skoog

Axel Sjöberg

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