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DuPont to drive PPE innovation, sustainability with stronger customer collaborations

DuPont says it will strengthen collaborations with existing and new customers to propel innovation and sustainability in personal protective equipment (PPE). The new Tyvek® Forward Together™ vision promises to continue improving the flagship Tyvek nonwoven material to help enhance worker safety and well-being while helping to reduce the environmental impact of PPE.

Introduced in 1967, Tyvek nonwoven fabric is used in protective garments worn by workers to help keep them safe many hazardous environments across chemical manufacturing, environmental services, oil and gas, and pharmaceutical industries. DuPont Tyvek garments have offered protection to frontline workers during emergencies, including the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, the Fukushima nuclear plant disaster, the Ebola crisis, and the COVID-19 pandemic. DuPont Tyvek coveralls are also widely used in cleanroom environments due to their low-linting properties that can minimize the risk of contamination.

According to the company, what sets Tyvek material apart from other fabrics is that it is manufactured using a single material, high-density polyethylene (HDPE), through a patented flash-spinning technology. This characteristic makes it easier to recycle garments made with Tyvek versus those made with multi-material fabrics, helping to reduce nonhazardous waste from disposable PPE.

Some of the latest Tyvek products and services demonstrate the success of the collaborative approach that Tyvek Forward Together aims to reinvigorate. DuPont Tyvek 500 HV (High Visibility) was developed alongside customers working in dangerous or dark environments across a range of industries. Its bright fluorescent orange-color background material combined with silver-gray retroreflective material make the garment highly visible during the day and at night when exposed to a light source. More innovations of Tyvek garments are planned for release this year in North America

Another example of successful collaboration is the recycling program that enables customers in the continental United States and Europe to recycle used Tyvek garments from non-hazardous job sites. A government customer in the U.S. was among the first adopters of this initiative and regularly sends an average of 7,000 pounds of Tyvek garments for recycling annually through the Tyvek  Protective Apparel Recycling Program.

“Tyvek Forward Together embodies our ongoing commitment to being at the forefront of sustainability in PPE," comments Dave Kee, Global Business Leader, DuPont Personal Protection. “Our collaborative mindset enables us to develop PPE technology that is invulnerable to impostors not because of how it’s made, but because it’s made with our customers in mind. We promise to continue innovating alongside them.”


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