Ugandans Melt Plastic Waste into Coronavirus Face Shields
By John Okot
When the Ugandan government ordered all non-essential workplaces shut to contain the coronavirus pandemic in late March, Peter Okwoko and his colleague Paige Balcom kept working.
But the pair – who had been turning collected plastic waste into building materials such as roofing tiles and pavers since last year – shifted gear and instead began manufacturing makeshift plastic face shields from discarded plastic bottles.
When they posted pictures of their prototypes on social media, they got a surprise phone call from the local public hospital.
“The doctor from Gulu regional referral hospital requested we make 10 face shield masks urgently because they didn’t have enough” and the hospital had just received its first COVID-19 patient, said Okwoko, 29, a co-founder of Takataka Plastics.
Photo courtesy of Simone D. McCourtie / World Bank.