The RKW Group, Frankenthal, Germany, a global manufacturer of plastic films for areas of hygiene and agricultural films, films for the beverage industry and packaging for powdery goods, has donated approximately 5 000 surgical masks to medical or nursing facilities made at three locations in Germany.
For Harald Biederbick, CEO of RKW SE, this was an obvious step to take: "We are part of the community and we take our local responsibility seriously," he says. "We have seen how difficult it is for medical facilities, of all places, to obtain personal protective equipment that they need most. We had some, so we were happy to share. This also goes hand in hand with our business mission, namely to help actively improve people's lives with our products."
At the Frankenthal, Petersaurach and Gronau sites, around 1,600 surgical protective masks were distributed to clinics, nursing homes, care services and doctors' and rehabilitation practices each when supplies were particularly difficult to organize at the beginning of April.
The fact that RKW even had so many masks in stock was due to the outbreak of the COVID 19 epidemic in China at the beginning of the year. "We produce in Guangzhou and were therefore aware of the coming difficulties early on and stocked up on time. We wanted to be prepared to be able to equip our employees worldwide with protective masks at short notice if necessary," says Biederbick.
In addition to the masks, RKW is also committed to protecting people with other means from its own production. For example, RKW Wasserburg helped to provide safe care for COVID-19 patients in the intensive care unit of the Rosenheim hospital with a foil donation. The bus drivers in Grafschaft Bentheim are protected from all too close contact with passengers by a barrier made of foil from the RKW site in Nordhorn. And in a joint venture with Renault Trucks, the employees of the French production site in Castelletta (Greater Lyon) produce disposable protective aprons made from donated RKW film in their leisure time, which are made available to the clinics in the region.
In addition, RKW is involved in the production of around 750,000 FFP-2 masks for the Ministry of Social Affairs in Baden-Württemberg every month–as a contractor for the FIGHT consortium–and is demonstrating its competence and flexibility here.