As global demand increases for hand sanitizers amid the COVID-19 pandemic, chemical manufacturers are looking for plastic bottle suppliers that can keep up with escalated production.
A member of the Manufacturers Association for Plastics Processors posted a request on the association's forum April 8 for 8,000 1-gallon bottles per day to package hand sanitizer for biochemical equipment and product maker BBC Biochemical Corp.
Adrian Bisecker, president of Mount Vernon, Wash.-based BBC, told Plastics News that the company's regular suppliers aren't meeting increased demand.
"In fact they're doing a good job not giving us accurate information on what they can supply," Bisecker said.
BBC had a "reasonable supply" of bottles on hand from a number of sources, he said, but it is "looking all over" for more.
"Considering our volume is 40,000 gallons a week, it makes it a little bit easier for suppliers to pay attention," Bisecker said.
Wrexham, Wales-based AST Plastic Containers saw a surge in demand and increased production by 20 percent to help its cleaning and sanitizing customers to meet the demand for their products, according to a report by Plastics News' sister publication Sustainable Plastics.
The company, a subsidiary of Germany-based blow molder AST Kunststoffverarbeitung GmbH, is now manufacturing 100,000 more containers a month by running the production line 24/7.
Farouk Systems Inc.'s hair care brand CHI donated $1 million worth of hand sanitizer to the city of Houston after it ramped up production due to increased demand for the product.
Farouk reallocated machines made by Nissei ASB Machine Co., a blow molding equipment maker, that had been used for other production purposes, an ASB spokesperson said in an email.
"Currently, we are in the process of making millions and millions of bottles of high-quality hand sanitizers to bring to the market … to help people in need right now," John Long, Farouk Systems Inc. director of operations, said in a release April 15.
CHI hand sanitizers are now back in stock for consumers to purchase online, the release said.
Gojo Industries Inc. ramped up its production of Purell-brand hand sanitizers in response to the crisis, but shifted distribution from consumers to "critical prioritized end users" like the U.S. military, health care groups, first responders and grocery stores, it said in a March 22 news release.
"We will constantly evaluate our capacity against urgent demand and will make products available for other end users as we are able," Samantha Williams, corporate communications senior director at Gojo, said in the release. "We care deeply about protecting public health and about getting our products to all of the places and people where they are needed."
"We are being called upon during this difficult time to help safeguard those working so hard on the front lines to keep us all healthy and safe, and we are working with our distributor partners to rise to this challenge," Williams added.