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Edmonton plastics company hit by wave of orders for COVID-19 retail sneeze guards

Edmonton plastics company hit by wave of orders for COVID-19 retail sneeze guards
WATCH ABOVE: Edmonton's Plastic Plus Ltd. is seeing a big demand for sneeze and cough guards, to protect front line workers from the novel coronavirus. Nicole Stillger reports.

An Edmonton-based plastic producer is working seven days a week to keep up with the demand for protective barriers for retail spaces, as businesses work to protect workers from COVID-19.

Plastics Plus Ltd. has seen a major surge in demand for the guards from both big-chain and local stores.

“It’s just been a wave that’s hit us with these sneeze guards,” Doug Popowich, president of Plastics Plus Ltd., said.

READ MORE: Grocery chains install checkout shields, raise wages in response to coronavirus pandemic

The company said it has received orders from big chains such as Costco but also from local hospitals, fast food restaurants and offices.

“The big chain stores were a little bit ahead of the curve, and so we are very, very busy getting some of that product out.

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“We’re finding the smaller stores are coming now for the more custom sneeze guards… we are actually seeing another pickup again of demand,” Popowich said.

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The plastic guards not only act as a physical barrier, but also serve as a reminder for people to social distance.

“People actually step back and they see that barrier and naturally distance themselves,” Popowich said.

READ MORE: Coronavirus: Canadian companies now manufacturing ventilators, surgical masks

However, the company is facing some supply issues with the material needed for the guards. It managed to place an order but it’s still five to six weeks away from delivery.

“We’re trying to source from wherever we can. Of course prices have gone way up because of demand and the state of the Canadian dollar, but we’re trying to deal with it as best we can,” Popwich said.

Workers at Plastic Plus Ltd. are in seven days a week to keep up with demand for protective shields for businesses.
Workers at Plastic Plus Ltd. are in seven days a week to keep up with demand for protective shields for businesses. Global News

READ MORE: How long will coronavirus measures last in Canada? Experts say June or July

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Plastics Plus Ltd. has been deemed “essential” as a critical supplier by the provincial government, and intends to keep producing the guards until materials run out, or it’s told to close.

It is also producing isolation carts use throughout hospitals in Canada.