Hocking College recently received 50 protective face shields for faculty members. The face shields were donated by Zero Waste Event Productions. A grant from the Athens County Foundation and support from Rural Action helped fund the project.
How did the face shield project originate?
Tyler Bonner, the founder and CEO of ZWEP, said the concept for this project began as a brainstorming session between himself and his partner Shannon Pratt-Harrington to come up with a small-scale project that would demonstrate the lifecycle of recycled plastics.
When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, the ZWEP team decided the time was right to put their recycled plastics project into action.
“Toward the end of spring, we received a small grant from the Athens County Foundation to support pivot projects aimed at helping to slow the spread of COVID-19,” Bonner said. “We were able to use those funds to get the equipment and supplies we needed to really begin producing face shields.”
Using leftover funds from 2019, ZWEP was able to purchase a plastic injection mold. This along with ACF’s grant and support from Rural Action, they were able to purchase the safety equipment they needs to begin production on the face shields.
The goal of this project is to create 600 face-shields for education and childcare facility members, health care facility or other non-profits who could use face shields in their day-to-day operations.
ZWEPS is collecting milk jugs and laundry soap containers to be recycled into face shields.
When Coral Wedel, manager of Hocking College’s Fashion Design and Merchandising program, found out about ZWEP’s face shield project she contacted them with the intention of securing some protective gear for the college. Securing the 50 recycled face shields that have been donated to the college.
More about Zero Waste Event Productions
Located at 9030 Hocking Hills Drive in The Plains, Ohio, ZWEP is a social enterprise that began as an offshoot of Rural Action's Zero Waste Program.
Zero Waste Event Productions was created to handle waste reduction at local events. Through recycling and composting ZWEP has been able to divert 25 tons of waste material from landfills.
They also assist local events in reaching recycling and composting rates as high as 96%!
Where can I drop off donations?
Donations of empty milk jugs and laundry soap containers can be dropped off at the large recycling bin located in front of the ReImagined Building at 751 W. Union St. in Athens, Ohio.
However, anyone planning to make a large donation can contact Zero Waste Event Productions by leaving a message on their Facebook page or by emailing Shannon@ZeroWasteFest.com so the staff can schedule a time to come pick up the donations.
How does ZWEP make face shields?
- Collect the plastic.
- Wash and dry the plastic.
- Cut down the plastic so that jugs will fit into a shredding machine.
- Shred the plastics to create pellets small enough to fit other machines
- Using the injection molding machine is the next step. After the machine has heated up the barrel is filled with the desired colors of plastic, the mold is attached and the plastic is pressed into the mold.
- Injection molding creates the frame of the face shield, the visor piece is made from lamination pouches which need hole punched and snapped onto the frame then add a piece of elastic for the band to hold the shield on.
What’s up next for Zero Waste Event Production’s?
“We are hoping to expand our plastics manufacturing to include other small items such as frisbees as well as building materials such as plastic boards, beams, and bricks,” Bonner said.
How can I get more information on ZWEP?
Anyone interested in getting more information on Zero Waste Event Productions can reach out to one of the following sources: