BIC, a company specialised in stationery, lighters, and shavers, is manufacturing personal protective equipment (PPE) for healthcare workers to address the shortage of this essential equipment in the fight against the coronavirus (COVID-19). Face shields are being made at several BIC production sites around the world and then donated to local hospitals or governments.
The company is also partnering with other businesses and academic institutions to produce a full-face mask with air filtration to be donated to hospitals and is donating more than €1.3 Million/£1.1 million at the retail value of pens, colouring products, other writing instruments, and razors to support local communities, hospitals, children and the homeless.
“As a global company with thousands of team members in communities around the world, we strongly believe that we have the opportunity – and the responsibility – to make a meaningful contribution to our communities during this global health crisis,” said Gonzalve Bich, BIC CEO.
“Our thoughts are with all those who have been impacted by COVID-19. We send our heartfelt gratitude to all the doctors, nurses, paramedics, factory workers, and first responders putting themselves on the frontlines to protect our communities and economies.”
BIC began producing face shields at its lighter facility in Redon, France, at the end of March. The team there is producing 3,000 per day using raw materials the company already has in its possession, including packaging plastic, rubber and more. The first batch was donated to the local hospital and police force. Production of these and other face shields have expanded to facilities in Brazil, Greece and Tunisia for local hospitals and government agencies.
Production has begun on an adaptor to transform the Decathlon EasyBreath full-face snorkelling mask into COVID-19 personal protective equipment for healthcare workers in hospital reanimation units. The mask completely protects the eyes, nose and mouth and filters the air, if there is a lack of conventional masks and goggles.
This project, which leverages a solution developed by Professor Manu Prakash from Stanford University, results from a partnership with researchers, engineers, doctors, industrialists. 50 masks and adaptors were delivered to the Brest hospital and 10 to the Redon hospital in France for use in reanimation units. BIC teams in France are also using 3D printing to produce frames for safety glasses, as requested by a local hospital.
“I want to thank our team members for their ingenuity, passion, and amazing support for finding ways to leverage our resources and manufacturing expertise to help our communities,” said Bich. “We will continue our conversations with local governments, health authorities and industry partners to play our part in lessening the spread of the coronavirus.”
Plans to manufacture other types of PPE, in partnership with governments, non-profits, other businesses and academic institutions, are also in development.
BIC teams have mobilised to meet the needs of healthcare workers and NGOs across the globe, providing more than €1.3 Million/£1.1 million at retail value in donations. This equates to more than 2.4 million Stationery, Lighter and Shaver products for organisations that support health care workers, children, the homeless and others in need around the world. Additional donations are being planned in key markets in the coming weeks.
In the US, BIC is teaming up with The Kids In Need Foundation for a #PostForPencils Campaign, for which BIC will donate up to a total of 1.5 million pencils. For every social media post shared that includes “#PostForPencils,” 20 pencils will be distributed to students in need.
The BIC Corporate Foundation has donated €20K/£17.4K to several non-profit partners to enable 80 families to access computers to allow their children to follow their classes online.
In France, BIC is launching a Limited Edition 4-Colour Pen for Nurses and Doctors, donating proceeds to the Fondation des Hopitaux de Paris Hopitaux de France. The pens will be available at the end of April on BIC.com in France.
Recognising that families around the world are spending more time colouring, writing and working together at home during these difficult times, BIC is making resources available for free for families to express their creativity, including free colouring pages, memory games and other activities at their website.