TORONTO — Viva Healthcare Packaging (Canada) Ltd., Innovative Packaging and PPE, a Toronto-based manufacturer of plastic products, is a recent recipient of an Ontario Together Fund investment of $450,000.
The Ontario government is delivering investments through the fund to increase Ontario’s stockpile of personal protective equipment (PPE). The masks will be made in Ontario.
“Face masks play an important role in reducing virus transmission. As municipalities are mandating the use of face masks in all public spaces, Viva is ramping up production of 3-ply disposable face masks, in regular and children’s sizes, to over 22.5 million masks per month by early 2021. We are honoured to apply our expertise in high volume manufacturing towards PPE production, to help combat COVID-19, and to prepare for potential future challenges with an ample and timely supply,” said James Bokla, CEO, Viva Healthcare Packaging (Canada) Ltd.
Viva plans to include an addition of two ‘state-of-the-art’ high output face mask-making lines. All lines will run 24/7 with inventory sufficient to allow for quick deliveries.
The press release reads that the masks are “Health Canada Approved and certified to ASTM F2100 Level 1, Level 2, and Level 3.” The prices for the masks are competitive but offer shorter lead-times. The company also offers an ‘innovative line of medical and non-medical face shields. The company is also soon introducing hand sanitizer gel sachets and wipes.
The company has been in business for over 48 years, They have three locations worldwide,including Canada (Toronto), Poland and Hong Kong. Viva’s flagship manufacturing plant is located in Toronto, housing 200 of 300 injection-moulding machines globally.
The company produces other items aside from masks and hand sanitizer — they also make injection-moulded tubes for health and beauty, food, and industrial commercial brands, and media cases for DVD and gaming manufacturers.
With projections like these, Viva will easily make roughly 270 million masks each year — so it’s not a stretch to say the mask mandates aren’t going away anytime soon.
Mask mandates extended
Just at the end of last year, Calgary extended their mask mandate until the end of this year, that is unless ‘pandemic circumstances’ like mass vaccination change and city council decided to amend or repeal the bylaw altogether.
Other areas like Waterloo Region have extended theirs to May 2021, if not longer and as you see everywhere the mask mandates are just about universal.
Environmental impacts of single-use masks
According to the Hong Kong-based OceansAsia environmental group, an estimated 52 billion masks were produced in 2020 to combat the coronavirus — they also estimate 3 per cent of those masks could end up across the world in our oceans.
That’s 1.5 billion masks that may be floating in our oceans already — with many more on their way.
In the article from True North Centre, the environmental group wrote to them saying;
“Single-use face masks are made from a variety of melt blown plastics and are difficult to recycle due to both composition and risk of contamination and infection.”
All this waste and yet our governments are still pumping money into single-use masks derived from plastics.
The Trudeau Liberals announced in 2019 that they would be implementing a ban on single-use-plastics by 2021 — yet it is unclear if the plastic ban will apply to disposable face masks.
“We need to cover all of Canada with this decision and that’s why the federal government is moving forward on a science-based approach to establishing which harmful single-use plastics we will be eliminating as of 2021,” said Trudeau at the time of the announcement.
There is certainly a lot of hypocrisy surrounding the mask mandates and single-use plastic ban. One thing is for certain, our tax dollars are going to pay for these substantial amounts of PPE being created this year.
What do you think about the investment in Viva Healthcare and the 27.5 million masks being made each month? Do you dawn a mask or do you still shop like you did pre-mask mandate?
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