Bangkok – Thailand – 20 August 2020 – Indorama Ventures Public Company Limited (IVL), a global chemical producer, and Thai Taffeta Co., Ltd., have accomplished another milestone by being the first in Thailand to produce textiles made of recycled PET yarns to develop Level 3 reusable isolated gown PPE suits. 500 PPE coveralls were handed over to the Government Pharmaceutical Organization (GPO) to support medical personnel during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Dr. Sophon Mekthon, Chairman of the Government Pharmaceutical Organisation's (GPO) Board of Directors, said, "GPO has been seeking collaborations between the public and private sector to sufficiently supply protective equipment for medical personnel, as well as to avoid possible shortages in the future. The result is an innovation in PPE coveralls and a sustainable value chain called the “PPE Innovation Platform”, made by Thais and achieving international standards. Every step of the process is conducted domestically, starting from collecting post-consumer PET bottles, recycling; producing world-class quality yarns; weaving and tailoring PPE coveralls. These coveralls provide protection for medical personnel who are working at high risk of infection. Now, the Level 3 PPE coveralls have been successfully developed, resulting in a better standard of safety during patient treatment. The coveralls are fully reusable and washable up to 50 times.”
Mr. Richard Jones, Senior Vice President and Head of Corporate Communications at Indorama Ventures, said, "IVL has utilized our know-how in taking post-consumer PET bottles through a world-class recycling process. We are proud to have collaborated with our partner Thai Taffeta to develop high-quality yarns suitable for PPE Level 3 coveralls as it highlights Thailand’s ability to create a circular economy. Before the COVID-19 outbreak, plastics were generally viewed as waste, but today they have been revitalized as a component for hygiene and safety products. For this reason, we need to create an understanding among the public that the main problem does not lie in plastic as a material, but rather how effectively we manage it after use.”
Mr. Supoj Chaiwilai, Executive Vice President of Thai Taffeta, said, "Our partnership with IVL in developing high-quality yarns and weaving them with innovation of Thai Taffeta has enabled us to be the first companies in Thailand to successfully manufacture fabrics made of 100% recycled PET yarns to produce Level 3 PPE coveralls, an advanced technology to better protect medical personnel. One coverall is made from around 18 standard 600 millilitre PET bottles."
The Level 3 PPE coveralls are made of 100% recycled polyester yarns and have double layers for better protection, while are still comfortable to wear. They are also coated to be water-repellent and have hydrostatic pressure properties with resistance to infiltration by blood and viruses. They are reusable and washable up to 50 times. This type of coverall will be used during the treatment of high-risk patients. Importantly, these newly developed Level 3 PPE coveralls have been tailored by a producer certified by Thailand’s Food and Drug Administration.
Such success enables Thailand to produce high-quality PPE coveralls without importing recycled PET yarns from abroad. They will support the medical personnel at front line of handling COVID-19 patients. This accomplishment also exemplifies efficient waste management under a circular economy model.