Devon-based GripHero Ltd, the developer of the world’s only ‘on-the-nozzle’ fuel pump hand-protection, has released figures which show that during the coronavirus pandemic, over 60 million drivers have been protected from contracting Covid-19 at the fuel pump, thanks to GripHero’s availability at thousands of forecourts globally.
Wearing hand-protection at the fuel-pump prevents the potential for the contraction of Covid-19 from drivers that cough or sneeze on their hands whilst driving, passing on traces of infected mucus via the fuel pump handle to other drivers.
Since March, GripHero has been installed at forecourts in Europe, North America, the Middle East and Australia. The dispensers are the only ones in the world permitted within the refuelling zone due to the use of ATEX-Certified anti-static material.
Designed to release just one item of hand-protection at a time, the by-product of GripHero being taken up internationally during the lockdown is that 70 million otherwise wasted gloves have been avoided. This is because traditional dispensers allow clumps of gloves to be withdrawn, blown into the environment or simply taken in handfuls away from site. By preventing unintentional withdrawals, GripHero cuts volumes of hand-protection used at forecourts by 55%. And through the use of eco-friendly materials, GripHero dramatically reduces the impact of single-use hand-protection on the environment.
GripHero also avoids wasted offcuts during manufacturing which, combined with the need for fewer items of hand-protection, has removed 130 tonnes of plastic from entering the waste stream during the pandemic. In the process, this has saved over 500 tonnes of CO2 that would have been created by the manufacture of conventional gloves, and 25 tonnes of unnecessary cardboard boxes that house traditional gloves.
Commenting on the news, Oli Yeo, inventor and managing director of GripHero, said: “Protecting the health and wellbeing of drivers around the world sits at the core of what we do in equal measure to reducing the environmental impact of hand-protection used on the forecourt.
“Now and in the future, we will continue to innovate to prevent the contraction of viruses, contaminants, and carcinogens at the fuel pump. Our goal is to create a future where customers can always find hand-protection where they need it most, so that they can refuel and purchase food and drinks without the worry of ingesting anything that could be picked up or passed on by another driver’s hand.”
Before GripHero came to market, the factor preventing hand-protection being dispensed in the fuel zone was the possibility of ignition caused by a static charge released when a glove or item of hand-protection is withdrawn from a pack and worn by the driver in the fuelling zone. As a result, all conventional hand-protection has had to be dispensed away from the fuel pumps themselves. Through GripHero’s innovative use of internationally patented ATEX-Certified anti-static material, all chance of ignition caused by static has been removed, enabling its dispensers to be placed on the fuel nozzle itself.