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March 30, 2020 VIRAL BUSINESS

Face time for Shelton’s Modern Plastics

PHOTO | Contributed Modern Plastics President Bing Carbone models his company’s infection-control face mask shield.

Throughout the history of commerce, the gallery of winners and losers is partitioned between the many whose fortunes soured when fate served up lemons — and the few who prospered by making lemonade.

When Bing J. Carbone, president of Shelton plastics manufacturer Modern Plastics, learned that demand was exploding for personal protective equipment (PPE) to protect health-care workers and others against the COVID-19 contagion, the company created an entirely new business unit — the Plastics Infection-Control Division — from whole cloth.

Within about an hour Carbone had 500,000 orders, he said. And within mere weeks the  manufacturer, which makes medical- and engineering-grade plastics, was shipping about 1 million units a week.

“We quickly realized there was a burgeoning mass shortage of these face mask shields,” Carbone said. “Being in the plastics distribution and plastics manufacturing business, we decided we needed to do something to help fight this terrifying COVID-19 and protect our health-care professionals, first responders, doctors, nurses and other industries where these masks are desperately needed.”

To meet the demand Modern Plastics, which in 2020 is marking its 75th year in operation, created a new assembly line in a matter of days and hired some 70 workers to operate it.

“It wasn’t easy [and] it was costly,” Carbone said. “But we accomplished it.” 

Who’s the client base for the new product line?

“It’s all over the place,” said Carbone. “Hospitals, health-care facilities, EMS, police, doctors, nurses, service industries that deal with the public — the list of client types just doesn’t end.”

And although the radical shift in production was unforeseeable even just a few months ago, Carbone said he’s certain that face-mask production is here to stay for Modern Plastics.

“These masks will be the new normal,” Carbone said. “They’re not going away — ever.”


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