The British Plastics Federation (BPF) has released a document highlighting the important contribution of the plastics industry in the fight against COVID-19 through the manufacture of PPE and critical infrastructure materials.
Over the past year, the BPF has helped many organisations, including the UK government, Scottish Government and Welsh Government to source vital supplies of PPE for frontline healthcare workers. It has also assisted a number of UK government departments, including the Cabinet Office, the Department for International Trade (DIT) and the Department of Health and Social Care, and has held regular meetings with the Department for Business, Energy, and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) to share key information. BPF members around the country have provided hospitals with plastic parts for ventilators, clinical waste sacks, aprons, face shields, visors and millions of bottles for much-needed hand sanitiser.
The trade association’s visual document highlights key facts about the role of the plastics industry in the fight against COVID-19, which will also be disseminated widely on social media where the organisation has a strong presence. These include:
During the height of COVID-19, plastics companies were called upon to deliver over 50,000 bottles of hand sanitiser per week to the NHS.
UK plastics companies have the capacity to deliver over three million visors per week to the NHS.
BPF research shows that the UK has capacity to manufacture more than 100 million aprons per month.
Demand for clinical waste sacks has increased 170% since the start of COVID-19.
Everything from a testing site to a Nightingale hospital requires a steady supply of plastic, including road barriers and construction products like flooring, insulation, pipes, windows and roofing.
Prior to COVID-19, less than 1% of PPE was manufactured in the UK but by December 2020 domestic supply is anticipated to meet 70% of forecasted demand in England for all categories of PPE except gloves, according to government research. BPF members have been integral to this achievement and the trade association produced online resources during the height of the pandemic, which aggregated key information for the industry to help businesses run effectively and safely, as well as a hosted an online ‘find a supplier’ service for companies and organisations in need of vital supplies.
Members of the BPF were also recently praised for their work in response to the pandemic by the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at BEIS Nadhim Zahawi at the trade association’s ‘virtual’ Annual Dinner in October.
Director General of the BPF Philip Law states:
Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the BPF and its members have helped to meet the challenges faced by the NHS and industries across the country as they try to provide a safe environment for their staff, patients or customers. Many BPF members have transformed and expanded their manufacturing operations, working longer and harder to ensure we can provide the protective equipment and medical supplies the UK needs. Over 100 of our members now manufacture PPE or the materials that supply PPE and we will continue to play our part in the fight against COVID-19.
‘How the Plastics Industry Responded to COVID-19’ will be disseminated to BPF members and is available to download to help the industry communicate its achievements to key decision makers, customers, the public and staff.