Go Green With Your Hand Hygiene With The Earth2Earth Compostable Food Prep Gloves
Go Green With Your Hand Hygiene With The Earth2Earth Compostable Food Prep Gloves
Hand washing is definitely important. For personal hygiene and when you’re handing food products - it’s critical to give them a thorough wash. However, given the different surfaces and items that are constantly being touched, it is impossible for the hands to remain sterile. An extra step is needed, especially when handling food. It’s a similar case to the healthcare industry. Would you allow a surgeon to operate on you without gloves on? Imagine the thought of your dentist working around your mouth without putting on gloves. You wouldn’t want germs getting transferred into your body, right? It's the same for food service staff. When they handle the different items without the gloves, there is the risk of transferring pathogens to the meals that will end up being consumed - indirectly getting their fingers into their customer’s' mouths. Proper health and hygiene standards need to be maintained to prevent an outbreak of foodborne illnesses. Germs spreading from the hands of food handlers to the food is a core contributor to disease outbreaks in restaurants – accounting for more than half of the outbreaks including those caused by pathogens like norovirus, Salmonella, Campylobacter and E. coli. The CDC actually puts this at about 90% of the outbreaks. The risks are higher when the personnel fail to wear gloves while preparing ready to eat (RTE) foods. It’s actually a food code violation for the staff to touch the RTE means with their bare hands. Fortunately, products such as the Earth2Earth Compostable Food Prep Gloves are readily available to address this.
It’s not just the customer’s safety that is on the line. The food preparers and servers also need to protect themselves. For instance, there are situations where the food material being dealt with is hot and spicy. There are also those cases where one is dealing with acidic juices. All these can irritate the skin. What of the foods with odours? The skin can absorb those strong food odours, making the person uncomfortable. You also don’t want all that effort that went into taking care of your nails going down the drain because of them getting ruined in the process of preparing meals for your customers. Wearing protective gear like the Earth2Earth Compostable Food Prep Gloves comes in handy for your individual safety.
Safety requirements are also needed during situations such as when cleaning products are being handled. For instance, those potent cleaners that one works with to get rid of the stubborn stains on countertops and other surfaces around the facility can be a threat to the skin. The goal is to get rid of the dirt and grime on the affected regions, not irritate your skin in the process. Turning to products such as the Earth2Earth Compostable Food Prep Gloves will provide a barrier of protection, allowing you to carry on with your tasks unabated.
The Earth2Earth Compostable Food Prep Gloves prioritise wearer safety, as well as enabling those in the food service industry to meet hygiene requirements. There is one more aspect that makes them tick - their positive impact on the environment. Unlike other conventional gloves that add to the strain on the surrounding ecosystem, these particular units have been designed to be environmentally sustainable. Here, we will expound on all this, and how you stand to benefit from adding the Earth2Earth Compostable Food Prep Gloves into your facility’s safety and hygiene program.
Returning the favour to the soil
Think about that hearty breakfast you had today, last night’s dinner, or those snacks you were chomping down while up and about. From the fruits and veggies to that crispy bacon – they all link back to the soil as the supportive element of the entire food chain. It basically sustains the plants that you directly feed on, as well as the animals that supply you with beef, bacon and other meat products. So essentially, the soil is feeding you - and composting allows you to return the favour. Here, that organic waste, from the grass clippings, leaves, paper produces, food scraps including raw and cooked meals, vegetable products, coffee grounds, meat and dairy products are acted upon by microbes, allowing the nutrients to be released back into the ecosystem and continue supporting the food chain - and the same case applies to the disposable Earth2Earth Compostable Food Prep Gloves. We'll cover more ways that compost aids in this shortly.
Value Of The Earth2Earth Compostable Food Prep Gloves
Thick and durable
Having been made from quality biodegradable material, the thick Earth2Earth Compostable Food Prep Gloves are highly durable. This is to make them withstand the strains and stresses of the job as you handle the different food preparation tasks.
Easy on the hands
You want gloves that will be comfortable to use, especially since things can get really busy when handling foods in restaurants and hotels. Even for those looking for gloves for normal domestic tasks, where you still want to work with units that will not feel strenuous, with the Earth2Earth Compostable Food Prep Gloves you won’t have to worry about that. They are a comfortable fit, and are available in three sizes: small, medium and large, for you to go with the units that suit your particular needs. After all, a key factor in the comfort of the gloves is getting the right sizes for your staff.
The Earth2Earth Compostable Food Prep Gloves are suitable for a wide range of industries. First definitely is the catering and general food service industry since it is a food-safe material. However, since they are of a high quality, the gloves can be used for day-to-day tasks at home, when you want to get extra protection during light office cleaning, in the beauty industry such as for hair salon staff, in hotels and restaurants, all through to those cases where you’re cleaning up messes left behind by pets. The comfort and ease of use enables you to work naturally in these applications.
Meets EN 13432 Standards
The OK compost INDUSTRIAL label on the Earth2Earth Compostable Food Prep Gloves is from TUV Austria. This is an independent certification body that has been authorised by European Bioplastics, and carries out tests on compostable, biobased and biodegradable products. This is in a bid to maintain credibility in the market and assure the final consumer about the status of the product in question.
For the Earth2Earth Compostable Food Prep Gloves to have obtained the OK compost INDUSTRIAL label, it is a guarantee that the material is biodegradable in industrial composting plants. The testing standards used for this are the EN 13432: 2000, which looks at different issues, including:
The tests here analyse the microbial action on the product. They take two main approaches:
Here standards used include the ISO 14855 (biodegradation under controlled conditions of aerobic composting and the evolved carbon dioxide measured); ISO 14851 (for aerobic biodegradability in water specifically and oxygen demand measured); and the ISO 14852 (for aerobic degradability in water with the evolved carbon dioxide being analysed)
Standards here include ISO 15985 that determines the disintegration and biodegradation under high-solids anaerobic-digestion conditions; ISO 14853 where the materials are placed in an aqueous system and the biogas that’s produced is measured; as well as the ISO 11734 for the ‘ultimate' anaerobic biodegradability where the material is placed in digested sludge.
The testing here involves assessing how much of the material will break down physically. The test sample is added to organic waste, then given 12 weeks. After this period passes, 90% of the material needs to have broken down to a point where it can easily cross through 2 mm sieves.
Chemical and heavy metal analysis
This looks at the potential harm that the elements in the test product have on the compost. Issues like the pH are analysed, presence of any volatile solids in the material, as well as elements such as magnesium, nitrogen and phosphorus. There are thresholds that should not be exceeded, and the permissible ranges have been defined in the OCED 208 "Terrestrial Plants, Growth Test". A physical-chemical analysis of the quality of the final compost is carried out together with a control plant growth test to look at any ecotoxic effects that could occur on higher plants. Bearing the OK compost INDUSTRIAL logo also shows that the Earth2Earth Compostable Food Prep Gloves are compliant to the requirements stipulated in the EU Packaging Directive (94/62/EEC). Remember that this logo is different from the "OK compost HOME", which is used for sheet films and refuse sacks that can be composted in the home garden. So don’t go tossing the Earth2Earth Compostable Food Prep Gloves into your home compost heap. It should be appropriately disposed of to be directed to an industrial composting plant.
The Earth2Earth Compostable Food Prep Gloves also come with the Seedling logo. This particular logo is recognized across the entire European market, with the products bearing it being compostable and adhering to the EN 13432 standards.
The Earth2Earth Compostable Food Prep Gloves are budget-friendly products. For starters, they are affordably priced, and are available in packs of 100 gloves. You can also get a larger pack containing 24000 units, depending on the particular needs of your facility. Secondly, their thick and durable nature enables the wearer to get optimal protection, providing value from every unit purchased. Since they don’t keep tearing as opposed to the conventional gloves, wastage is minimised. The costs savings that come from having healthier practices especially for those in the food service industry cannot also be ignored – since using safety gear like the Earth2Earth Compostable Food Prep Gloves wards off cases of infections, lawsuits, and the negative reviews that would have hit the business in the event of an outbreak occurring.
Why Compositing Matters
The soil is a critical part of the ecosystem. After all, it supports the plant life needed to ensure the survival of humans and animals alike. However, over the decades the quality of the soil has gradually deteriorated, forcing farmers to increasingly rely on fertilizers and pesticides - and the chemicals used here have ripple effects all the way up the food chain. Protecting the soil as a resource is needed to support the ecosystems that it sustains, and one of the main ways of doing this is composting.
Through composting, beneficial microbes are able to thrive and convert organic waste into biomass that improves soil quality - and that is a major reason behind the design and development of the Earth2Earth Compostable Food Prep Gloves. Let’s delve into how compost actually helps the world:
Improving soil structure
Did you know that compost is a solution to many of the problems popping up in farms? For starters, it balances out the pH levels, and enables better infiltration and moisture. Secondly, by infusing the soil with nutrients, the compost nourishes microbes which help in breaking them down further and aerating the soil. Plants in turn take up the nutrients and avoid deficiency problems.
With more compost available to large- and small-scale farmers, less money will end up spent on costly fertilisers and pesticides, and it will increase the efficiency of the irrigation processes being used. Fields with compost end up having higher yields compared to those without. With more crops getting to the markets, the groceries will be more affordable – eventually resulting in more cost savings on your end.
Revitalising local water sources
Here’s an interesting titbit: Compost can hold up to 20 times its own weight in water. So, there will be more water penetrating and remaining in the soil, as well as that seeping down to the rock layers underneath. As the water moves through the layers of the soil, it is filtered out. Degenerative farming practices like overgrazing and excessive chemical usage, as well as rapid urbanisation, has negatively impacted the role that soil plays in the water cycle. Using plants and compost to enable the soil to get healthy will recharge that underground water, which in turn supports springs and rivers.
Moreover, as this filtered underground water will eventually get to the oceans, it means that there will be a positive impact of promoting cleaner oceans. Actually, one of the main pollutants of the large water bodies is the acidic fertilisers and other chemicals that are used in farming that make their way through the water cycle. So, opting for products like the Earth2Earth Compostable Food Prep Gloves has double benefits here: by decreasing the run off that directs the chemicals into the oceans, and also reducing the need for artificial fertilizers and chemicals in the first place.
We have the water retention capacity of the compost to thank for this. Did you know that a third of the planet's arable land has been lost over just the last 4 decades? This is largely attributed to pollution and erosion. Most of the erosive effects seen on soils are caused by excess water. When the eater is not able to penetrate into the ground, it builds up on the surface and carries off the soil in the runoff. Compost comes in to act like a sponge, soaking up the water and giving it more time to get into the deeper layers of the ground, in turn preserving that crucial topsoil.
Cut down carbon and methane outputs in your locality
Organic waste ending up in landfills leads to a spike in carbon and methane outputs. These are caused by the anaerobic decomposition of the organic matter under the piles of trash since oxygen supply is cut off. Methane alone is a more potent gas than carbon dioxide, having a larger greenhouse effect. Reducing the amount of water that winds up in landfills in the first place plays a role in cutting down these emissions- and this includes turning to sustainable products such as the Earth2Earth Compostable Food Prep Gloves
Lock up more carbon in the ground
In addition to decreasing the production of greenhouse gases in landfills, what about locking away that which is in the atmosphere? This can be aided by the increased usage of compost. The beneficial microbes that are in it play a central role here.
First, plants need the microbes to be able to efficiently absorb nutrients. In order to keep these microbes around, the plants need to "feed" the microbes themselves. So, they absorb carbon dioxide from the air, and through photosynthesis, convert it into carbohydrates or sugars needed by the beneficial microbes. By promoting this ecology, compost helps in reducing the greenhouse effect.
Reduce disposal costs
Costs that go into disposing and managing garbage runs into hundreds of billions annually, projected to reach $375 billion by 2025. A huge part of this includes landfills. On the other hand, setting up composting programs enables institutions and municipal councils to make savings in their waste management programs. So, by opting for products like the Earth2Earth Compostable Food Prep Gloves that are in this line, there will be more savings to the society and local governments, funds which can be diverted to more sustainable programs.
Slowing The Growth Of Landfills
A major push behind the usage of products like the Earth2Earth Compostable Food Prep Gloves is the increasing rate of landfill growth. Existing landfills are rapidly running out of space to hold in the waste that is being produced - yet all of the organic waste that winds up in it is compostable. Conventional gloves add to the problem since they take long to break down. For instance, latex gloves will require around 5 years in optimal conditions to decompose. In landfills, it will be far much longer. You don't want the gloves that your personnel are using to contribute to the problem.
Why are landfills a threat? For starters, close to two-thirds of the waste that is in the landfills is biodegradable organic matter. Sure, microbes will act on it. The problem comes in when there is so much waste such that more organic matter is buried under heaps of trash, cutting it away from the available oxygen supply. It ends up being anaerobically biodegraded, and a by-product of this process is methane – one of the most potent greenhouse gases, trapping up to 20 times more heat than carbon dioxide. Granted, in many of the European landfills the methane that is produced is captured and used to generate electricity, which produces carbon dioxide as a by-product. This approach still has a global warming effect, but it is weaker than when methane is released into the airspace.
The biodiversity of the area is also affected. Hundreds of wildlife species are lost per hectare of landfills as their natural habitats get destroyed. These are in turn replaced by animals that feed on the garbage - the likes of rats and crows, which will also become a nuisance to persons in the surrounding communities. Those heaps of plastic that are winding up in the landfills is also a contributor in this, as well as the millions of nitrile and latex gloves that are disposed of here – since they take decades to decompose. This calls for the need for more sustainable options, from the packaging films that people use, to bin liners and refuse sacks, all through to the gloves and other safety gear, which is where products such as the Earth2Earth Compostable Food Prep Gloves come in.
Then there is the pollution of the groundwater. The waste in the landfills continues to break down, releasing chemicals in the process. The liquid matter seeps down. As it rains, more content is dissolved in the water pouring down the area. The end result is a toxic cocktail containing metals, ammonia and harmful organic compounds that makes its way to the local groundwater. Nitrates that are formed due to nitrification of the ammonia during these processes cause there to be an explosion in plant growth in the affected water bodies. While this may sound like a good thing, it isn’t ideal, since it leads to eutrophication where an extremely high biological oxygen demand causes the water sources to be deoxygenated, and aquatic animals are unable to survive in these regions.
Ruined soil fertility due to the toxic substances in the landfills, social effects since the dumpsites are an eyesore, issues like odours and smog from the area – these contribute to negatively affecting surrounding communities. Populations need landfills. They are part of the waste management system, taking in all that solid waste that would have otherwise ended up strewn all over the environment. However, due to the negative effects that the landfills have on the ecosystem, there needs to be active steps taken to slow their growth and mitigate the effects. This ranges from the authorities involved setting up treatment processes to deal with the toxins that are being generated, systems like those that capture methane, all through to individuals and businesses embracing measures to reuse, recycle and compost. This cuts across the board – from the kind of packaging items people use, shifting away from the single-use plastic bottles and opening for reusable products, all through to working with sustainable products such as the Earth2Earth Compostable Food Prep Gloves which can be taken to industrial composting facilities. All this is geared towards ensuring that less material ends up in landfills.
Committed to Environmental Care
The Earth2Earth Compostable Food Prep Gloves are made in Ireland. The brand is owned by Thorn Environmental, a leading name in matters of sustainability. The company provides bin liners, refuse sacks and packaging films that prioritise environmental friendliness, in line with the goals of Agenda 2030 and Europe’s seventh Environmental action programme.
Heavy investments have been made by the brand to bring forth innovative solutions for renewable and recycled products that can replace the conventional plastic alternatives. For instance, in order to aid with compacting the excess CO2 problem, the company delivered the Earth2Earth® Bio-based Carbon Captured sacks, liners and films. Here the material pushes for the reduction of carbon, capturing and storing 200kg of carbon with every 1000 kg of product that is produced. The material is made from the ethanol that is generated during sugarcane processing, which is then converted into high density polyethylene. This negative carbon footprint has been certified by Carbon Trust, and the products were the first of their kind in the Irish market. Moreover, the material is 100% recyclable together with the normal fossil fuel-based polyethylene, adding to the value that it brings to the sustainability effects. Multi-layer extrusion is used to make the bags thinner and stronger compared to the conventional plastic sacks, enabling them to meet the facility’s waste disposal needs. With more products being produced from less raw material, it further bolsters the company’s efforts to be more eco-conscious.
For the compostable range of products, it goes beyond the Earth2Earth Compostable Food Prep Gloves. There is a whole range of refuse sacks and bin liners here, whose design optimises on their functionality, while still focusing on their sustainability. For instance, they are made of a unique blend without starch or fillers, making them highly resistant to heat, and also waterproof. The material here is 100% compostable, and is even ideal for handling organic waste, that way the resultant biomass from composting facilities can be used to improve soil health. The high strength resins used in these products, coupled with the multi-layer extraction, yields a high-performance material that retains its structural integrity even when handling heavy loads of waste. Like the Earth2Earth Compostable Food Prep Gloves, these range of bin liners and sacks also comes with the seedling logo and are compliant to the EN13432 European standard.
The innovations by Thorn Environmental have seen the company get recognised on Ireland's most prestigious national environmental awards: The Pakman Awards. For the year 2021, Thorn was shortlisted as a finalist for the award in the “Innovation in Waste Resources Products or Services" category. These awards have been running for seven years now, and honour the individuals, corporates, as well as community initiates that showcase their excellence in waste management and recycling programs. Previously, the brand also made it as a finalist in the 2020 Green Awards for the categories "The Green Small Manufacturer Award" and "The Green Technology Award". So, by going for the Earth2Earth Compostable Food Prep Gloves, you’re choosing to work with a trusted brand that has consistently delivered on its mandate, and that is a renowned leader in the industry.
Handwashing Is Still Key
Sure, the Earth2Earth Compostable Food Prep Gloves provide safety, but handwashing also remains a priority. Restaurant managers and others in charge of food safety programs should ensure that there are adequate measures around for their personnel to wash their hands. Food safety reports by the CDC showed that only 25% of workers washed their hands after handling raw animal products or dirty equipment, and only 10% of the staff washed theirs after they touched their face or body. Putting in place measures like improving accessibility to sinks, all through to emphasising the need for frequent hand washing amongst your staff, especially the younger ones, is key.
Get More From The Gloves With These Tips
When using the Earth2Earth Compostable Food Prep Gloves, here are some factors that you should observe:
Always wash and dry the hands before wearing the gloves and after you remove them. This also applies to when you want to change to a new pair.
Whenever you’re switching tasks, like after handling raw animal products and you want to chop up the veggies, you should switch to new a new pair of gloves.
Get a new pair before you touch RTEs – like when you’re dealing with sandwiches. You don’t want to use the same gloves that you had while you were dicing up that raw beef in the kitchen to handle the sandwich that the customer will put directly into their mouths.
Limit consist use of a single pair of gloves to 4 hours. The sweat that is building up on the skin will encourage more microbes to thrive. Simply take off the pair of gloves, wash your hands and wear a new set.