Natural rubber is an inherently environmentally-friendly material and rubber trees contribute to environmental protection. They are grown on some 10 million hectares worldwide and annually remove 363,000 tons of carbon dioxide, replacing it with 264,000 tons of oxygen. This helps combat the greenhouse and global warming.
More information can be found in a two-part series entitled "Natural rubber as a green commodity" that appeared in the 1994 issue of Rubber Developments, published by Malaysian Rubber Board. Please see below:
One of the most common substitutes for latex gloves are those made of vinyl, a practice that raises environmental concerns. The disposal of vinyl poses environmental hazards through the creation of dioxin, which the World Health Organization classifies as a "known carcinogen." Large amounts of dioxin are released into the air, water and soil when vinyl is disposed of along with vinyl chlorides and hydrogen chloride. Recycling vinyl is expensive and impractical, and incinerating it emits dioxin and a host of other toxins into the air. If it is buried, it persists for years in landfills, where toxic chemicals leach out, poisoning the soil and groundwater. Latex, on the other hand, is obtained from rubber trees, a renewable resource, and latex gloves are biodegradable.
More information can be found in a Malaysian Rubber Board's Monograph No. 2 entitled "Environment-Friendly Natural Rubber Gloves" published in September 1999. Please see below: