The plastics industry is mobilizing to relieve the burden of COVID-19 on the nation’s healthcare system. Our members are making components for critical care machines, disposable medical items, and single-use packaging for treatments and food. Resin manufacturers are churning out material. Companies have added shifts or switched production lines to supply high demand for personal protective equipment and more. Stories of innovation, hard work and charity are countless.
Here’s an overview of how the plastics industry is providing essential assistance to the coronavirus fight. We compiled this list from members proud to serve their communities, as well as media coverage of their amazing work.
Altium Packaging is a leading customer centric packaging solutions provider and manufacturer in North America, specializing in customized mid- and short-run packaging solutions, serving a diverse customer base in the pharmaceutical, dairy, household chemicals, food/nutraceuticals, industrial/specialty chemicals, water, and beverage/juice segments. As more and more companies find supply availability to be a challenge, Altium Packaging has learned to quickly adapt. For Publix Super Markets alone, they have seen weekly order volumes for pharmaceutical bottles increase.
Amcor is an essential supplier of PET bottles and jars to the food, beverage, medical, healthcare and pharmaceutical industries. As consumers’ demands for safe and reliable packaging have increased over the last few months, Amcor has been able to effectively meet these increased demands within their global footprint.
Berry Global is manufacturing 150,000 face shields per week. In addition, Berry Global has experienced increased demand for the following items during COVID-19: materials for face masks, including spunbond and meltblown nonwoven fabrics; nonwoven materials for N95 respirators; protective apparel materials, surgical gowns and drapes; surface disinfecting wipes and packaging; bottles for disinfectant sprays, hand sanitizers, and soaps; closures and overcaps for hygiene products like disinfectant sprays and food packaging.
Employees at Braskem, the largest polyolefins producer in the Americas and leading producer of biopolymers in the world, participated in a 28 day shift where they agreed to live at the plants to ensure there would be no interruption in production of much-needed material for medical supplies during the COVID-19 crisis. Source: WASHINGTON POST
Crafts Technology, a 127-year-old company based in Elk Grove Village, makes precision wear parts, components, assemblies and custom tooling from hard materials. The firm was asked to expedite production of tungsten carbide core pins needed to meet skyrocketing demand for the much-needed vials. Source: PLASTICS NEWS
Eastman Chemical Company, manufacturer of specialty plastics and chemicals, made and donated sheet plastic to make face shields at East Tennessee State University and at other colleges and universities in Tennessee. During a four-day period in late March, Eastman made plastic film for 10,000 face shields for medical workers treating the COVID-19 crisis. Source: PLASTICS NEWS
Evco Plastics Inc. is running its medical injection molding operations 24 hours a day, seven days a week — including parts for COVID-19 test kits — as the U.S. races to offset a shortage during the outbreak. The family-owned, Wisconsin-based molder has nine plants in the United States, China and Mexico. Source: PLASTICS NEWS
ExxonMobil is lending expertise to redesign and manufacture reusable masks and face shields. The company has increased its capability to manufacture specialized polypropylene, used in medical masks and gowns, by about 1,000 tonnes per month, which is enough to enable production of up to 200 million medical masks or 20 million gowns.
Grupo Antolin, a global manufacturer specializing in auto interiors including overheads, trim, lighting, cockpits & consoles has marshalled its extensive expertise, network and production capacity in support of the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. Headquartered in Spain, Grupo Antolin is now making medical gowns and protective masks for healthcare workers. Source: PLASTICS NEWS
Mauser Packaging Solutions is an essential link in the global supply chain for products used to fight the spread of COVID-19. The company is another PLASTICS member that is supplying the vital and necessary packaging products (large and small) that other essential businesses rely on to operate, produce, transport and distribute their goods.
Milliken’s BioSmart fabric makes it simple and practical to integrate anti-microbial protection into the most common medical products. The patented, bleach-activated technology harnesses the proven power of readily-available chlorine bleach to kill 99.9%* of bacteria and viruses. Available through Prime Medical as CloroxProTM scrubs and lab coats, as well as Clorox HealthcareTM privacy curtains, advanced molecular engineering binds chlorine to fibers to turn otherwise passive textiles into one more layer of active defense against inadvertent microbial exposure, contamination and infection.
M.R. Mold & Engineering Corp., produce molds for a number of medical products ranging from hip replacements to IV pistons for intravenous drug delivery systems. The California firm qualifies as a critical manufacturer for the medical supply chain. Source: PLASTICS NEWS
With less than three weeks’ planning and preparation, Novolex is making about 500,000 gowns a month in Yakima, WA alone using machines which typically produce bags for food, birdseed and ice melt bags. Source: KAPP-TV
Placon, working with engineers from the University of Wisconsin, adapted manufacturing lines to make 5 million plastic face shields every week for frontline healthcare workers. Source: WMTV-TV, Channel 15
Reifenhauser has converted two of its R&D lines at its nonwovens technology center in Troisdorf, Germany to make enough polypropylene meltblown material for one million face masks a day. Source: PLASTICS TECHNOLOGY
Sencorp Thermoforming, a division of SencorpWhite, Hyannis, Mass., has modified its thermoforming machines to make face masks for the medical professionals combating the Covid-19 pandemic. The company’s team successfully modified two machines. Each unit has the capability to produce about three million face masks/week. Source: PLASTICS TECHNOLOGY
Westfall-Tecknik is offering its cleanrooms, micro-molding, manufacturing and assembly services to any companies that need to expand capacity for producing COVID-19 testing and treatment supplies.
Public awareness of the magnitude of our industry’s support for Americans at this critical time is growing. Everyone, including nearly one million people in the plastics industry, is in the fight together.
Please share your stories of positive solutions provided by plastics. If you have one, please email us 100-words or less to [email protected]. We will help to spread the word.