Recycling plant turns plastic bottles into face shields amid COVID-19

Zaidi Recyclers, a Tanzanian local plant located in the commercial capital Dar es Salaam, has turned plastic bottles into face shields to help fight the spread of COVID-19.

“After we had seen the signifi- cant impact of the COVID-19 to the Tanzanian people, we came up with an idea of producing face shields out of used water plastic bottles,” said Haikael Rafael, an employee with Zaidi Recyclers.

“Since we started production of the face shields using waste plastic bottles, we are now capable of making 2,000 pieces per day,” she told Xinhua in an interview, adding that the face shields selling for 4,000 Tanzanian shillings (about 1.7 U.S. dollars) a piece are distributed to hospitals, communities and individuals.

Rafael said Zaidi Recyclers decid- ed to opt for used plastic bottles as raw materials for making the face shields because they were aplenty.

“We thought that by using used plastic bottles as raw materials we could also save the environment by recycling them,” said Rafael.

Asked whether she felt her busi- ness was being threatened by re- ports of decline in COVID-19 cas- es in the country, Rafael believes that there is still a huge market for the face shields they produce.

“Following the outbreak of COVID-19 in Tanzania, people are now much aware of the virus and they know how to protect them- selves from the viral disease. They will still need the face shields to protect themselves,” said Rafael.

She said the Tanzania Medicines and Medical Devices Authority has approved face shields produced by Zaidi Recyclers, adding that the plant was in the process of produc- ing more high quality face shields in order to expand the market beyond Tanzania in the next three years.

“We are also looking at how we can make the face shields that can be used not only for COVID-19 but also other purposes such as in an operating theater during surgery,” said Rafael.