Cromwell Polythene’s manufacturing and recycling division, Cromwell Plastics Recycling, has donated 500 kilos of blue polythene film to a fundraising partnership of volunteers and marine businesses making personal protective equipment for the NHS.
The film, manufactured at the Alfreton based manufacturing and recycling plant, Cromwell Plastics Recycling Ltd, will be made into approximately 5,000 disposable plastic gowns for Southampton General Hospital.
A network of businesses and individuals based in Lymington, Hampshire have been pooling skills and resources during the coronavirus crisis to create thousands of items of protective gear for carers and NHS workers. This philanthropic partnership includes the New Forest Sewing for the NHS group, which sews scrub bags and PPE. Local resident, Emma McEwen and her husband Luke have created digital copies of an NHS-approved gown template. Emma and a team of 150 volunteers, known as The Press Gang, heat seal the seams on the gowns and pack them for dispatch to hospitals such as Southampton General. Emma has contacted manufacturers across the UK, including Cromwell Polythene, to ask if materials can be donated.
A number of marine based companies in Lymington are also involved in this partnership. Family run company, Sanders Sails has set up a fundraising campaign. It has been making a range of personal protective equipment and scrub bags using its in-house laser technology, teaming up with other local businesses, sewing volunteers and local rotary clubs.
The film donated by Cromwell Polythene’s manufacturing division, Cromwell Plastics Recycling, was delivered free of charge by Lockwood Haulage to FIBRE Mechanics, a purpose-built yacht manufacturing factory in Lymington. FIBRE Mechanics is one of the many companies that form the ‘Cutting Crew’ – loaning their cutting table and staff to cut the gown kits. The donated film is also being professionally hand cut by local company, MDS Leisure who in ‘normal’ times would be making soft-play areas and inflatable structures.
The Cutting Crew and Press Gang have, together, so far supplied Southampton General Hospital with 8,000 protective gowns, with over 25,000 more in the pipeline.
James Lee, Managing Director of Cromwell Polythene said: “We are proud to support this worthy cause. These businesses and individuals have volunteered their time and support to supply some of the heroes on the frontline, including hospitals and care homes with vital PPE equipment. We’d like to thank our team at Cromwell Plastics Recycling who have helped give this wonderful, partnership project further momentum.”
Cromwell Polythene has modified three of its extrusion lines to make film for standard, clear aprons to help with the PPE shortages, in addition to its existing PPE range.