Entrepreneur develops novel method for making PPE aprons

Mr O’Carroll’s background is in supply and distribution and he had never been involved in manufacturing before he decided to try the unorthodox method to produce the PPE aprons. Millions of aprons have been shipped to Ireland from China during the pandemic but medics have raised concerns that some of the imported products were too thin and not robust enough for working on the front line. From a standing start, Mr O’Carroll’s company, IPS Packaging, is now producing 1.6 million aprons a week for healthcare staff and other workplaces. “In the early days of the lockdown we got a request to supply a suite of products, three of which sat into our company nicely, but the fourth was PPE disposable aprons which no-one was manufacturing in Ireland at the time,” said Mr O’Carroll, who founded IPS Packaging 20 years ago. “We were non-manufacturing packaging distributors, but we dealt a lot with white, polyethylene virgin grade which is the same material used to make standard shopping bags, is thicker than what was being used, and is recyclable. “It has been an instant success with customers, and we are heavily supplying the medical, food and hair and beauty industries, with a lot of interest from salon suppliers who will need this equipment to reopen,” he said.