Plastics companies gear up to help health workers fight coronavirus pandemic
UK plastics firms have stepped up their support for frontline health workers fighting the coronavirus outbreak, increasing supplies of vital materials and helping to produce essential equipment. Around 90,000 people in the UK have tested positive for the virus, while more than 12,000 Britons have died from the disease.

Plastic materials play an integral part in the production of medical kit, including ventilators to assist Covid-19 patients with breathing and personal protection equipment such as face shields for hospital staff. The British Plastics Federation (BPF, London / UK; said it had been liaising daily with key government departments such as the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy over how the industry can best respond to the crisis.

A number of UK firms have highlighted their efforts to help combat the spread of the disease. Chemicals giant Ineos (London; announced it was due to open a fourth new facility to produce hand sanitiser in Étain / France, while it already has plants working in France, Germany and the UK – see of 15.04.2020.

Other UK companies working to contribute include Ricoh 3D (Northampton;, which is supplying additives to help in the mass production of ventilators, and Rutland Plastics (Oakham;, which has been producing medical kit for the newly-erected Nightingale Hospital in London. Cleaning equipment manufacturer Numatic (Chard; has developed and produced face shields that are currently being used by staff at the Worcestershire NHS Trust, West Midlands ambulance service, Birmingham children’s hospital and the Gibraltar health authority. Cromwell Polythene (Leeds; is providing products such as refuse and recycling sacks to key industries as well as manufacturing clinical waste bags, gloves and aprons. Finally, injection moulder Talisman Plastics (Malvern; has switched its machines over to operating 24 hours on seven days a week in order to meet demand for essential equipment.

BPF director-general Philip Law said the plastics industry was able to play a vital role in the Covid-19 pandemic. “Despite the challenges every business is facing right now, we have been helping to feed the nation, protect key workers and supply a wide range of essential medical supplies, including components for ventilators. I’m proud of how our industry has stepped up and shown its true colours during this time of crisis,” he added.
16.04.2020 [244913-0]
Published on 16.04.2020

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Date of print: 02.02.2023 16:18:10   (Ref: 488952989)
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