World wide shortage of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), which are essential items against the fight against COVID-19, has made manufacturers creative. With the virus spreading fast in Africa, Tanzania has taken the initiative to use the locally availed material in making face shields.
A recycling plant in Tanzania’s port city of Dar es Salaam Zaidi Recyclers has started making COVID-19 face shields from recycled plastic bottles whose demand in local hospitals and health centres nationwide has spiked. Before COVID-19 struck, the business made a killing from exporting processed waste papers to China and India. But as the virus spread across nations, imposed lockdowns and trade restrictions adversely affected businesses globally drying up supplies, sending them into financial distress.
They say every cloud has a silver lining and for Zaidi Recyclers, COVID-19 came with an opportunity to keep it operational and refrain from firing employees.
“I think the key is to remain relevant. You should not panic, because these crises have been there, this is not the first time we are facing this kind of crisis. If you panic, you will get lost and then you will not be able to come up or be active as you used to be before,” said Allen Kimambo, founder of Zaidi Recyclers.
Thanks to the insatiable demand for COVID-19 face shields, the firm as been saved from collapsing, as the supply orders keep trickling in. Globally, households and small businesses are turning their printers into factories to create these essential supplies. Community groups, private companies supporting the cause are encouraging volunteers to join them in making face shields from the open-source design for the shields they have availed on their websites. Not only are these initiatives helping in fighting against COVID-19, but also keeping the environment free from plastic pollution.