Enviornment-friendly masks protect the medical sector
Her concern for the environment led her to create eight years ago, together with her partner, poliagave, a biodegradable plastic material for multiple industrial uses, and, now, her solidarity led her to join a project that provides free masks of agave to the medical sector in need of protective accessories.
Just after the declaration of the Covid-19 coronavirus as a global pandemic has just begun, Ana Laborde Aguirre, a graduate of the Bachelor of International Trade (2003) from the University of Monterrey, has worked together with other companies to generate an altruistic line of production of approximately 50 thousand masks, which have already been donated to hospitals in the states of Coahuila, Tabasco, Oaxaca and Mexico City.
Laborde Aguirre and Eduardo Rivera Garza, a graduate of the Bachelor of Laws (2004) from UDEM, patented this material from agribusiness waste and founded the company Biosolutions, which provided the poligave free of charge with which the mask holder, on which the acetate is attached.
The donation has been made in different issues since the end of April, in a project led by the La Salle University in Saltillo, Coahuila, to which different companies have joined, which already contemplate creating a social entrepreneurship to continue supporting nosocomios, but now self-sustaining.
Laborde Aguirre reported that, with the beginning of the health contingency, the desire to help hospitals was awakened in her and, immediately, she learned of the initiative of the university institution, so she contacted to offer the material that it produces through its signature.
“The project did not come up with the idea of selling masks to the industry, but to make a donation to the medical sector that does not have enough protective equipment (…), at the beginning, we did not know if it would work, because you had to get someone to inject poliagave in an industrial machine, “he warned.
However, the project was joined by a company that donated the time of the machines to manufacture the face shield support, as well as others that provided the mold for the manufacture or the acetate rolls for the front part of the safety accessory.
“The remarkable thing is that it is the sum of several companies that we are donating what we can do; different companies that did not know each other work collaboratively,” he said.
The former UDEM student commented that the product has been so well accepted that they have decided to turn the donation project into a social undertaking.
“It is going to change to a scheme in which a certain number of masks will be offered for sale in order to finance the production of the same amount and to be able to donate it; for example, to sell a thousand masks to the industry and, with that, finance 20 or 30 thousand more to donate, so the project becomes self-sustaining,” he explained.
Laborde Aguirre pointed out that the majority of bioplastics in the world are made from food: corn, potatoes or starch, but she and her partner looked for other options.
“The reason why we created the company is because we did not want to use food for this type of material; they are very good materials, they are friendly to the environment, but it did not make sense that it was made from food,” he stressed.
He added that approximately eight years ago they developed the formula to take advantage of waste from the agro-industry, such as the tequila or brewery, which for them is a by-product, and reuse it to create bioplastic, in accordance with the concept of circular economy.
Currently, his company has clients who handle the biodegradable material they produce, including 3M Scotch Brite, which produces a broom with that material; Maped, with a line of items such as pens, magazine racks, and poliagave desk trays; and Tequila Cuervo, which created a line of biodegradable straws.