Evansville-based Berry Global Group Inc. (NYSE: BERY) says it will increase production of face mask materials. The plastics manufacturer says it is implementing strategic initiatives such as designating additional capacity for face mask materials production and introducing a new material for face masks in Europe.
Berry says the move is in response to the surging global demand for Personal Protective Equipment. To meet the demand, the company says it is repurposing existing manufacturing equipment and creating alternative materials for face masks.
As part of the effort for the U.S., Berry says it has expanded its proprietary Meltex platform to add meltblown capacity in Waynesboro, Virginia. Berry says the line will make meltblown materials which will be used in surgical-grade face masks as well as N95 and N99 respirators.
Berry says the added capacity will allow it to manufacture approximately 200 million face masks annually.
In addition to its Waynesboro facility, Berry says its other North American manufacturing facilities are working to produce materials that help protect against the spread of COVID-19.
Additionally, Berry is launching an extension to another line of products. The company says it is working to transition its Synergex ONE media product, which previously was developed for face masks used by the general population, to the standards needed for surgical masks.