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RightCycle program for lab and industrial waste marks 10th anniversary with more than 1,400 tonnes diverted

PPE and plastic waste discarded in a pile
Kimberly-Clark Professional is celebrating the 10-year anniversary of The RightCycle Program.

Kimberly-Clark Professional, a leader in contamination control solutions for cleanrooms and laboratories, is celebrating the 10-year anniversary of the RightCycle Program, the first large-scale recycling effort for non-hazardous lab, cleanroom and industrial waste. Since 2011, the program has empowered more than 800 customers to divert over 1,400 metric tons of waste.

The RightCycle Program collects previously hard-to-recycle personal protective equipment (PPE) such as garments, masks, gloves and goggles. These items are then recycled by regionally based recycling partners that create new pellets, which are used to produce consumer products and durable goods. These include flowerpots and lawn furniture, benches and bicycle racks. 

Originating in the U.S. with a few scientific manufacturing customers, the RightCycle Program is now available in nine countries across Europe and North America with a wide range of customers that include universities, zoos, laboratories, manufacturing facilities, breweries and a variety of other businesses.  

A partnership with the Dallas Zoo has led to the diversion of more than 2,444 pounds of gloves since 2018 - roughly the weight of its female hippopotamus.

"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 Shannon College, a Dallas Zoo animal supervisor. "Anything we can do to reduce that impact is vitally important to us."