CHOOSE WOOD

Wood, paper, and cellulose: An essential industry in facing the coronavirus

The United States, Canada, Italy, Argentina, and Chile have declared this industry essential..


Medical masks, toilet paper, tissues, paper towels, compresses, diapers, and more are fabricated from cellulose, and paper is used to fabricate boxes for medications and foods. Both of these components are extracted from wood. That is why countries such as the United States, Canada, Italy, Argentina, and Chile have declared the industry indispensable in taking on the health crisis that we are currently facing due to the coronavirus.

At the regional level, in Argentina, the Ministry of Labour, Employment and Social Security ruled to reduce the flow of people on public transport and in public places, as long as it does not affect the production and supply of goods and services, therein cataloguing the food industry, its production chain, and personal hygiene and cleaning products as essential.

For its part, the Government of Chile established a directive that details types of safe-conducts to be solicited by citizens who are exempt from stay-at-home orders in order to ensure supply and distribution of essential goods and services. This allows agro-food companies, farming and forestry producers, and producers of cellulose, paper products, cardboard, and their derivatives to remain active.

Medical masks at CMPC

CMPC, through SOFTYS, its subsidiary for hygiene and personal care products, brought two machines into its plants in Puente Alto, Chile and Caieiras, Brazil, one at each site, that will automate the production of surgical masks in order to distribute them free of charge to public health services. Each of these machines has the capacity to produce more than one million masks per month. Gonzalo Darraidou, general manager of SOFTYS, declared, “We’re not approaching this challenge as a business, but rather as the response that is expected of a company oriented toward the care of people,” confirming that the cellulose industry’s functioning is indeed essential in order to confront the pandemic.

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