Campaigners celebrate the launch of plastic-free PPE that could ‘unlock economy in green way’

Jarvis Smith - My Green Pod

Home » The world’s first plastic-free PPE

Published: 3 June 2020

This Article was Written by: Jarvis Smith - My Green Pod

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The world’s first Plastic Free PPE is set to help millions of people around the globe tackle the spread of Covid-19 while protecting the planet.

International campaign group A Plastic Planet and packaging innovators Reelbrands and Transcend Packaging have developed clear plastic-free visors to protect staff without adding to plastic pollution.

Recyclable and home compostable

The Plastic Free PPE REELshield Visor is recyclable and home compostable. It’s CE-certified, made from FSC paper board and PEFC cellulose from wood pulp for a clear, mist-free screen,

With demand for PPE set to increase as the government seeks to unlock Britain’s economy further, Plastic Free PPE provides crucial equipment that does not pollute the planet for centuries.

Since the outbreak of the coronavirus, images of discarded plastic PPE on beaches or in the marine environment have become increasingly common.

Some 761 million pieces of PPE, predominantly made from plastic, have been distributed across the UK alone since February 2020.

‘No-one wants to compromise the safety of employees and the public; but the plastic PPE visors are used once and then exist for centuries, polluting our planet. 

‘We wanted to lead by example and show that we can protect ourselves and protect our planet. We can no longer sacrifice nature without consequence. The public back a green recovery from the pandemic because quite simply, we cannot self-isolate or vaccinate against the climate crisis.’

SIAN SUTHERLAND
Co-founder of A Plastic Planet

Demand for PPE

To help meet demand for protective equipment, more than 1 million Plastic Free PPE REELshield Visors can be produced each week.

Three Oceans and delivery service Yodel, who are working alongside the NHS to deliver tests, have all placed orders.

Sustainably sourced, the lightweight visors are designed to ensure comfort with an adjustable headband that can accommodate corporate branding.

‘PPE is vital for the protection of health care workers and to reduce the transmission of the virus. But it doesn’t have to be made from fossil fuels. 

‘Covid-19 will be part of our lives for some time, and as lockdown rules ease, demand for PPE is only going to increase. Considering the plastic pollution crisis we are still battling, and the lessons we are learning from this pandemic about the need to work with nature instead of against it, Plastic Free PPE can help to protect us without further damaging the planet.’

LIZ BONNIN
Science, wildlife and environmental broadcaster

A circular process

To ensure a circular process, A Plastic Planet has partnered with TerraCycle. Staff can use a dedicated bin after using the PPE, and TerraCycle will then collect the visors and recycle or compost them.

A Plastic Planet, Reelbrands and Transcend Packaging are collaborating with Augment Bionics to supply the visors to charities in East and South Africa. Plans to manufacture locally in the US are also underway.

The Plastic Free PPE range is the first protective equipment to receive A Plastic Planet’s Plastic Free Trust Mark accreditation.

Campaigners believe the move will tackle two of the world’s most pressing issues simultaneously: high demand for protective equipment and plastic pollution.

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