BPF Survey Reveals How the ‘Pingdemic’ is Affecting the UK Plastics Industry

The British Plastics Federation (BPF) has published a survey of its members showing that 60% of plastics companies have staff absent due to being ‘pinged’ by the NHS COVID-19 app, with an average of 7% of staff being requested to isolate.

The flash survey also found that 71% of companies had people off work because they are self-isolating (possibly due to being ‘pinged’), cannot get to work due to a lack of travel services, are caring for others who are isolating, or have contracted the virus. Taking all these factors into account, companies reported an average of 8% of staff off work.

Completed by 106 companies in just under 24 hours, 53% stated they have had to reduce production, with 60% of those citing a lack of staff due to COVID-19. Since the start of the pandemic, one in five companies has completely stopped production at some point.

50% of companies reported they were considering more automation in their plants as a result of the pandemic and 60% were permanently changing their working from home policy.

Commenting on the findings, BPF Director-General Philip Law stated:

Plastic and plastic products are absolutely essential for many industries and services to function. The pandemic is presenting huge challenges to almost every business and the safety of workers should be of paramount importance. But if the situation gets worse, it risks having a knock-on effect, disrupting numerous supply chains, so it is imperative that the UK plastics industry receives clear messaging from the government on whether plastics manufacturers are deemed a ‘critical’ sector.”

The results were from a survey circulated to members of the BPF between 22 and 23 July. They were published on 28 July 2021.

To download the survey, click here.

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