JOPLIN, MO – The pandemic has changed the way many four state companies do business. And in some cases, it’s even changed the products they make.
We first introduced you to Doug Anderson, the manager of Regal Plastic in Joplin in March of 2020.
“It’s all anybody wanted was barriers, shields, face guards and that’s what we did all summer and into the fall of last year.” Anderson says.
By that time, the demand for products made from plastic eventually overtook the types of items they were making pre-pandemic.
Eventually, that changed.
“Playing catch up on a lot of different products where people were shut down and couldn’t work, so there wasn’t as much of a demand, but then, as people went back to work, we saw the need for those products to go higher and higher, and as a result of that, some of those are getting pretty scarce.” Anderson says.
Case in point, UHMW, short for Ultra High Molecular Weight, of which there is now a wait of 20 weeks.
“It’s used in cutting boards in kitchens, it’s used in just about every kind of facility that does any kind of manufacturing, it’s a food grade product so that’s why it’s popular in the food industry, but it’s also very durable and very tough and so we had a high demand on it for a lot of different applications by just about everybody.” Anderson says.
But, with so many residents not opting for the vaccine, he’s not throwing out any protective product molds anytime soon.
“This is just going to be another situation we’ll deal with at least for the rest of this year, probably into 2022 as well.” Anderson says.