New products and packaging help minimize exam glove waste

Medline initiatives maximize glove utilization and reduce glove waste

As single-use disposable gloves help prevent the spread of germs and infections, they’re necessary in healthcare settings across the continuum of care. They also contribute significantly to medical waste, with an estimated each month globally.

In busy healthcare settings, gloves become unusable when pulled too quickly from the box, falling to the floor, or tearing during donning and doffing. Used gloves also end up in the landfill.

“Exam gloves are essential personal protective equipment, and Medline is committed to optimizing their use,” said Roger Bourbonnais, Vice President of Acute Care, Medline Canada, Corporation. “Reducing glove waste helps the healthcare provider’s bottom line and the environment. Medline is committed to implementing eco-friendly standards, practices and products, minimizing waste and environmental impact.”


Medline’s innovative glove packaging—the SmartBoX— includes a proprietary insert that propels gloves toward the box opening to minimize lost product when gloves are pulled from the box. The patent-pending design keeps gloves at the top, making it easier to pull a single glove out every time, maximizing glove utilization and decreasing glove waste by 33%.1

With the implementation of SmartBoX, a 200-bed hospital using 2 million gloves a month could save 66,000 gloves a month, equaling 264 boxes or 26 cases of gloves. In one year, the savings could rise to 317 cases.1

Glide-On® Powder-Free Vinyl Exam Gloves

Clear, vinyl gloves are especially vulnerable to rips and tears following standard hand washing and sanitizing protocols. It takes an estimated 28 seconds to don a standard clear vinyl glove, and 20% of the time, these gloves will rip or tear in the process, resulting in unusable gloves, lost time and frustration.1

Medline’s Glide-On Powder-Free Vinyl Exam Gloves have a special coating that helps to pull the gloves on faster—on average, in just 14 seconds—with rips and tears occurring just 3% of the time.1 Color-coded sizing, prominently printed on each box, helps ensure quick selection, and convenient packaging with SmartGuard film helps keep gloves in the box to reduce waste.

For every 1,500 clear vinyl gloves, 300, or two boxes of gloves, may be wasted. With Glide-On, glove waste could decrease to just 45 gloves.1

Making healthcare more sustainable 

Minimizing exam glove waste is part of Medline’s broader sustainability commitment, which includes a robust solar and green building commitment, consistent adherence to LEED and ISO environmental construction standards, and the ReNewal medical device reprocessing program. Medline also regularly donates medical equipment to nonprofit organizations worldwide, and its Green Product Portfolio offers alternative cleaning products and responsibly manufactured products.

The company recently evolved from a traditional corporate social responsibility program to a comprehensive environmental, social and governance model with a broader, data-driven approach. Medline’s first global ESG Report highlights the company’s strategies, successes and future priorities for helping to make healthcare more sustainable and equitable.

Click for more information on Medline’s line of glove products.

1. Data on file.