Plastics - The Heroic Material of the Corona Battle

Polypropylene or better known as Plastics, is being heavily used in the frontline battle by protecting doctors and other health workers from the deadly COVID-19 virus. Turns out, single-use plastic is making a huge comeback because of its highly viable medical applications. Be it masks, gloves, protective gown, head covers, disposable bags, goggles, etc it remains clear that the demand for plastic has sky-rocketed and will continue to do so in the year to come.

Plastics are not only versatile and affordable but they are also easily available thereby running hospitals and protecting our frontline medical workers during the COVID-19 pandemic. This indispensable material is the bedrock of medical equipment and protective gear.

They’re even at the heart of innovative cross-industry collaborations to combat the virus; the luxury auto brand Ferrari, for instance, announced it will produce the thermoplastic components needed for respiratory valves, while Apple-designed plastic face shields for medical professionals and is shipping millions of them across the United States every week.

Single-use plastic (SUP) plastics that can be used only once and disposed of are saviors, especially during a pandemic. Not too long ago, the threat of a ban loomed large over SUP. However this miraculous material is used in making personal protective equipment (PPE), which is why its demand has nearly doubled since the virus outbreak. The protective gear made of plastic reduces the risk of the person using them from contracting an infection.

As of 2018, the share of polypropylene (PPE) in total polymer consumption was 25%. The demand for polypropylene in India is met through domestic production and imports. Some of the major companies in the domestic market include Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL), Indian Oil Corporation Ltd,

A shortage of this indispensable material is forcing health workers to use alternative safety gear made of plastic water jars, plastic sheets, plastic laundry bags, and garbage bags. The protective equipment has to be discarded after every patient contact, because there can be traces of the virus on the gloves, visors, aprons and masks etc.

Across the globe, every nurse and doctor is risking their life in this tough battle against Covid-19. What remains their biggest weapon against this battle is their daily personal protective equipment. Plastic, once demonized material is crucial for the single‑use PPE that keeps medics safe every day to fight the battle against this deadly virus. Although plastics have always remained a topic of controversy in the past years, there is no question now that this miraculous material has turned the unlikely hero of this battle against Coronavirus.

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