With mounting advice for medical, NHS support staff, teachers and other key workers to bag up and immediately wash their clothing as soon as thy return home, demand for infection control laundry bags – for both industrial and domestic use – has increased, with many distributors now being out of stock.
Aquapak Polymers has a pellet and process which allows plastic bag manufacturers to switch production efficiently to manufacture Aquapak’s strong hot water-soluble bag. CEO Mark Lapping said: "We are responding to the immediate need for infection control bags in the NHS and we want to play our part in the fight against Covid-19.
“Aquapak produces a hot water-soluble polymer in the form of a standard pellet, called Hydropol that is made from PVOH. We already sell it to manufacturing partners outside the UK, where it can run on most standard blown film lines to make high quality, and strong standard laundry bags, aprons and for other infection control applications. Its functionality means that is also used in specialist applications, such as to recover chemotherapy (cytotoxic) soiled linen.
“The end users are in hospitals, care homes, hotels and households, where they are needed minimise exposure to contamination as they can be put directly into the washing machine, and dissolve safely and completely (without residue) in a hot wash. We have grades of Hydropol that dissolve fully at 50C, 60C or 70C.
"We are ready to support plastic bag manufacturers, who are currently running PE lines in the UK, to switch production to bags made from hot water soluble Hydropol. We believe that by making such bags quickly available in the UK, we shall be able to support nurses, doctors, cleaners, and other care staff to change at work, bag up their used clothes in a strong and safe material, and put it straight into the washing machine when they get home. By removing the need for them to be taken out of the bag, the risk of contaminating others is greatly reduced, and it allows such clothing to be used multiple times”.
“Similarly, contaminated linen and clothing from hospitals, care homes, hotels and households can be carried safely to a washing machine (often off-site) without risk of contamination. For other professions, such as teachers, who are supporting the front-line staff, the laundry bags allow work clothes to be kept safely at home and laundered in efficient wash cycles.”