Jewish medical student recycles hundreds of plastic gloves
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Jewish medical student recycles hundreds of plastic gloves

Leora Marcus, 20, launched her initiative during the pandemic after an increase in the use of personal protective equipment

Jack Mendel is the Online Editor at the Jewish News.

Leora Marcus (right) and one of her volunteers, Grace Silverstein, collecting plastic gloves
Leora Marcus (right) and one of her volunteers, Grace Silverstein, collecting plastic gloves

A Jewish medical student is recycling hundreds of plastic gloves used during the coronavirus pandemic.

Leora Marcus from Hampstead Garden Suburb, 20, launched an initiative during lockdown after noticing an increase in the use of plastic.

‘I try my best to do things for the environment in my everyday life” she said, but due to Covid-19, “the amount of plastic is going to massively increase because of gloves and PPE” (personal protective equipment).

“I just thought, let me see if I can find a way to recycle them or reuse them”.

She came across a company called TerraCycle which recycles plastic gloves, and got to work collecting from across the community.

The second year University of Nottingham medicine student said: “When I started like living on my own, I realised how much plastic there is in everyday life, and in my labs we would go through so much [plastic] unnecessarily. So it used to frustrate me quite a lot.”

Since I’ve been back at home during lockdown, I’ve had nothing to do, nothing to distract me. I thought might be a good time to try and do something more positive for the environment.”

Explaining how it works, she says gloves are put in a bag and be left at the bottom of a person’s driveway “and I go around wearing my own PPE to collect them.”

Usually, I try my best to go cycling or walking, so not to increase my own carbon footprint.  I pick them up and I have like a large box where I store them. Once stock has got high enough, I either send them to a drop off point, then they send it to TerraCycle.”

She says that “in the next few days, my house will become a drop-off point” too.

The former Hasmonean student, who attends the Central Square minyan, has gathered a crack team of volunteers collecting across north London, who have so far collected more than 300 gloves, including in areas such as Finchley, Cockfosters Edgware and Golders Green.

Find Leora’s initiative on Facebook here.

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