UK polythene film manufacturer Berry bpi has repurposed its manufacturing capabilities to support personal protective equipment (PPE) production.

The move is in response to support the National Health Service (NHS) efforts to fight against the Covid-19 outbreak.

The company has repurposed four of its facilities in the UK including Heanor, Derbyshire, Stroud, Gloucestershire, and Greenock, and Dumfries in Scotland, within three weeks.

It will be manufacturing approximately 200,000 special fluid-resistant, long-sleeve apron-style gowns and over six million standard disposable aprons a week.

Berry bpi chief executive Andrew Green said: “We have deliberately taken a long-term approach,” explained. “We were able to call on our extensive resources and experience, as well as the flexibility and commitment of our workforce, to produce the aprons within an extremely fast turnaround to help make up shortfalls in the current supply chain.

“We intend to scale up production so that after the immediate needs of the coronavirus crisis, we can continue to offer a cost-effective local supply solution that will be able to meet as much as possible of UK demand.”

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In two weeks, Berry bpi designed the film and produced the apron-style gown for the first sample set of 2,000 for local hospitals and hospices.

Work on the gowns was carried out at the Heanor factory.

The company has also invested in its Greenock factory to manufacture standard aprons in the coming two weeks.

The two apron styles are made using cost competitive low-density polyethylene (LDPE).