Thousands of frontline NHS workers across the UK have been given innovative water-soluble infection control laundry bags to prevent the spread of Covid-19 from the workplace.
Some 46,400 bags have been donated to health and social care providers across the UK.
Workers can remove their work clothes in the workplace, take them home safely and put them straight into the washing machine without exposing their homes to the virus.
Made using Hydropol, an innovative new polymer technology which is designed to be water-soluble, non-toxic and marine safe, the environmentally friendly infection control bags dissolve in the washing machine on a 60oC wash cycle.
Some 12,000 bags have been provided to frontline staff at the University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust.
The bags have also been distributed to workers across the West Midlands including staff at: Birmingham Women’s and Children’s Hospital; Moseley Hospital; Acorns Children’s Hospice; West Heath Hospital; and BMI Edgbaston.
Some 5,000 bags have been supplied to frontline NHS staff at Newcastle’s Royal Victoria Infirmary.
In Norfolk the bags have been supplied to workers via the James Paget University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, UEA Medical Centre, Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Kings Lynn and NHS Norfolk and Waveney CCG.
Frontline staff are using the bags at hospitals including Leeds Teaching Hospitals in West Yorkshire.
In the East Midlands more than 1,000 bags have been supplied to Treetops Hospice and GP surgeries across Nottingham.
The bags have been distributed free of charge by sustainable polymer technology company Aquapak. Aquapak makes the Hydropol pellets and supplies them to packaging converters who produce the bags.
Aquapak has a packaging conversion partner (Echo Packaging) in the UK and other partners outside the UK able to quickly produce more of the bags to get them to the people who need them working on the frontline fighting the coronavirus.
Aquapak CEO Mark Lapping said: “In this time of national crisis we were keen to do whatever we could to help our fantastic key workers.
“Over the coming weeks it is incumbent on all of us in business to do whatever we can to support frontline workers delivering world class care to our most vulnerable people.”
George Freeman, MP for Mid-Norfolk and former Minister at the Department of Health said: “I am delighted that we were able to request some of these donated bags to help our amazing frontline healthcare workers who are working round the clock across Norfolk in the fight against COVID-19.
“The infection control dissolvable bags are helping to give reassurance that staff can reduce the risk of infection to themselves and others when they leave work.”
Aquapak is looking to partner with additional converters to increase its bag production capacity.