Over forty packaging firms from twenty countries have come together to create an organization called “Fiber Shield” to create single-use, disposable face shields in response to COVID-19 and the global shortage of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for medical professionals.
“After speaking with the New York State Department of Health on phone last week, I realized the true severity of the situation in this country: medical professionals are risking their lives for us, yet they can’t procure face shields at any price,” says Ed Zumbiel of Zumbiel Packaging and Board Member Paperboard Packaging Council. “Zumbiel Packaging committed to providing 200,000 paperboard/poly face shields, and although grateful, the Dept. of Health said they could use even more.”
Zumbiel—as part of the Fiber Shield effort—is urging the packaging community to take action across the globe.
Every participating company is committing to donate at least 100,000 shields, but that is only the start. Pawi, Zumbiel Packaging and Pulver Packaging have already committed to donating over 700,000 shields to medical providers in Europe and North America who are at the epicenter of the pandemic. The group is confident that they can produce and distribute over 10 million face shields in the next several weeks.
“If you can make a donut box, you can make a face shield. They’re easy to manufacture, and the Fiber Shield.Org website offers simple designs that only require cutting and windowing—no glue,” Zumbiel notes. Zumbiel is referring to the idea that the design doesn’t require a separate folding/gluing process—the shields require glue only for the windowing process. To aid in this part of the project, Capital Adhesives has donated adhesives to the effort.
“The easiest shield to produce is made of two pieces, a headband and a locking, clip-on face shield. From personal experience, I recommend using at least a two-mil gauge poly on the windows because you get better speeds with the heavier material. Lightweight poly will, however, work just fine.”
The group is hopeful about the effort and the spirit of the packaging community in this time of great global need. “Every day, additional packaging firms, supply chain partners, and industry trade associations are joining the group,” according to Fiber Shield’s news release.
Zumbiel notes that "virtually everyone in the packaging ecosystem has jumped in to offer raw materials, production assistance, and logistics support to the companies who are producing the shields."