Featured image for A Plastic Planet Helps Launch The World's First Plastic-Free PPE

A Plastic Planet Helps Launch The World's First Plastic-Free PPE

by Bill McCool on 06/08/2020 | 2 Minute Read

Last week, as emergency first responders were given a cruel reminder that it’s easier for cops to get protective body armor so they can attack peaceful protestors and journalists than it is to get personal protective equipment (PPE) that doesn’t involve a trash bag, there was at least one bright spot.

Non-profit group A Plastic Planet, along with Reelbrands and Transcend Packaging, created a plastic-free visor for doctors and nurses working in hospitals that are on the frontlines fighting the Coronavirus pandemic which has now claimed over 390,000 lives. The visor is both recyclable and compostable.

Editorial photograph

The REELshield plastic-free visors come from an FSC food-grade paper as well as a certified home compostable PEFC wood pulp cellulose. The cost of the lightweight, adjustable gear is said to be the equivalent of its plastic counterpart, and the visors will get sold at cost to encourage sustainability. Additionally, Reelbrands can manufacture just over one million units a week.

A Plastic Planet will also team up with Terracycle to ensure that PPE gets disposed of in marked bins for recycling.

Editorial photograph

“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,” said A Plastic Planet co-founder Sian Sutherland in a press release.

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

Anywho, hospitals, get those orders in. Thousands of nurses here in the US have no other option than to reuse their masks, and every added bit of protection helps. Plus, if those face shields you’re buying can get recycled or composted, even better.