The public back a green recovery from the pandemic because quite simply, we cannot self-isolate or vaccinate against the climate crisis.
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.
The REELshield Visor is recyclable and home compostable, CE-certified, made from FSC paper board and PEFC cellulose from wood pulp.
With demand for PPE set to increase as the government seeks to unlock Britain’s economy further, Plastic Free PPE provides much needed equipment which does not pollute the planet.
Some 761 million pieces of PPE, predominantly made from plastic, have been distributed across the UK alone since February 2020. During this time, images of discarded plastic PPE on beaches or in the marine environment have become increasingly common.
To help meet demand for protective equipment, more than a million 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 which can accommodate corporate branding.
To ensure a circular process, A Plastic Planet have partnered with Terracycle where staff can use a dedicated bin after use. Terracycle will then collect the visors and recycle or compost them.
A Plastic Planet, Reelbrands and Transcend Packaging are also 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.
Sian Sutherland, co-founder of A Plastic Planet, said: “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.”
Liz Bonnin, science, wildlife and environmental broadcaster added: "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."
This article is based on a press release from A Plastic Planet.