A LIMERICK company has just introduced the first fully plastic-free certified PPE to Ireland in a bid to help companies protect both their teams and the planet. EcoShield visors are now available from EcoStraws.ie, helping to tackle both the demand for PPE in the ‘living with covid-19’ era and playing an important role in the reduction of plastic pollution.
Established in 2018 by Brian O’Callaghan and Sarah Keyes, EcoStraws.ie supplies consumers with high quality products in the most sustainable way. The company originally focused on supplying the largest selection of EcoStraws in the world, and since then, has expanded to offer EcoCups, EcoBottles, EcoBoxes and much more.
Since the pandemic hit, the business has had to pivot and diversify into sourcing new products that were aligned to the company’s eco values.
“The colossal requirement for millions of pieces of PPE has been on news headlines across the world for a number of months now. PPE is saving lives; it’s an essential requirement for many businesses, however as it’s mostly single-use plastic, we wanted to play our role in developing an alternative, that would provide the safety required yet continue to protect the planet,” adds Brian O’Callaghan, Managing Director of EcoStraws.ie
Brian continues: “As a Guaranteed Irish business, we’ve worked so hard to help reduce plastic consumption, and pre-Covid-19, we as a nation were making sizable gains in our plastic reduction. Indeed, many companies made firm commitments to reduce their reliance on plastic. In a time when we’ve all hugely appreciated the nature on our doorstep, we can’t regress to behaviours of old. Our new plastic-free EcoShield gives companies choice and a solution for continuing to honour their plastic reduction commitments.”
EcoStraws.ie has been working with its colleagues in the UK – Transcend Packaging and Reelbrands, along with international campaign group A Plastic Planet – to bring this plastic-free certified PPE to Ireland. The first shipment has just arrived and Brian has already fielded calls from many Irish companies who have a requirement for PPE as lockdown eases, but whom still value the role they play in creating a more sustainable future for us all.
The clear plastic free EcoShield visors are CE-certified whilst being home compostable and recyclable. They are made from FSC paper board and PEFC cellulose from wood pulp for a clear, mist-free screen, and are lightweight with an adjustable headband.
Co-Founder of EcoStraws.ie, Sarah Keyes adds: “As we unlock the Irish economy and businesses return to a new normal where employees and customers’ safety is paramount, demand for PPE is set to rise.”
“We’ve all already seen images of discarded plastic masks and gloves strewn across our countryside, and our hope is that because the plastic-free EcoShields are comparable in price to their plastic equivalent, they will be specified by many more companies as a way of keeping their employees safe whilst also meeting their environmental responsibilities.”
The collaboration is committed to manufacturing more than one million pieces of plastic-free equipment every week, and in the UK, The Very Group, 3 Oceans and Yodel, who supply the NHS are amongst the first customers to switch to Plastic Free PPE.
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.”
EcoStraws.ie is Ireland’s largest supplier of alternatives to single use plastic straws, and this summer, the company will hit the milestone figure of 30 million plastic straws taken out of production as a result of EcoStraws.ie’s reusable straw sales. Its products are plastic-free, BPA-free and toxin-free and are shipped in fully recyclable, environmentally friendly packaging.
The company was awarded a Business All-Star accreditation in Jan 2019, followed by Guaranteed Irish status in Jan 2020.
For further information on the Plastic Free PPE EcoShield Visor, see www.EcoStraws.ie