The pulp and paper industry has played an important role in helping to fight the spread of COVID-19. Many paper mills have implemented social distancing in order to continue to produce essential products such as packaging materials, medical supplies and household paper goods. There has been extremely high demand for household paper products while the away from home sector has seen lower demand due to business closures. In March, US tissue paper mills produced a record high of almost 700,000 tons of tissue products and analysts predict that the demand for household paper products will remain high even as travel restrictions are eased.
Several companies have responded to the need for protective equipment by switching production to produce items such as protective gowns, face masks and dividers to maintain social distancing. Mondi announced that it will produce 10,000 protective gowns at its three German plants to be donated to workers in retirement and nursing homes. Smurfit Kappa has launched a new portfolio of products aimed at allowing businesses and schools to safely resume operations. The products include desk and workstation separators, hygiene stations and point of sale screens made of corrugated board.
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