- Plastic Recycling
- Plastic Recycling
Recycled plastic turned into face shields and hands-free door handles to fight coronavirus
Designers and makers that use the Precious Plastic machines are repurposing them to make items needed by local health care workers.
Groups in Germany, Spain, Greece, Austria and Switzerland are using the open-source machines, which shred and remould old plastic, to make face shields, masks for ventilators and handles that allow the user to open a door without touching it.
Precious Plastic La Safor and Precious Plastic Gran Canaria have been making and sharing designs for visors that sit on the forehead and hold plastic shields over the wearer’s face.
“A Precious Plastic workspace in Gran Canaria was requested to provide over 3,000 face visors for the government, hospitals and private sector,” said Precious Plastics member Rory Dickens.
In Germany, the Kunststoffschmiede plastic recycling workshop is using its machines to make 20,000 visors for the Dresden area. Plasticpreneur in Austria, which makes machines for the project, has also gone into mass production.
These face shields protect the wearer from infectious droplets spattering on them and help keep their face masks dry. Medical-grade N95 or FFP2 masks must be replaced if they get wet, but are in short supply all over the world.
The Gran Canaria workshop is also prototyping face masks for ventilator machines for use in intensive care units.
“No official body has approved our designs for medical use at this time, however, several hospitals around the world – including those in Spain – are currently using them,” said Dickens.
The coronavirus can live on surfaces for days, and people can catch it by touching a door handle and then touching their mouth or eyes. Opening doors without hands helps prevent the spread of infection.
According to Dickens, thePrecious Plastic workspaces are being very careful about hygiene when making the PPE.
“To make the items the plastic is heated to over 200 degrees Celsius which sterilises the plastic and it has previously been cleaned,” he explained.