Sneeze-guard makers can't keep up with huge demand

Plastics firms are rushing to meet record demand for 'sneeze guards' to prevent the spread of coronavirus in stores, restaurants and workplaces. But there's a global shortage of raw materials needed to make the plastic barriers. (June 10)

Video Transcript

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KRIS VAN EEGHEN-STODDARD: So just to make everyone feel really comfortable-- both our sales staff and the customers-- we've installed sneeze guards in all our showrooms. I think our sales associates feel a little bit safer, when they're sitting in close proximity to a client, to protect themselves and their families when they go home, just to have some sort of barrier.

RUSS MILLER: This is our premade COVID-19 barrier that we've been selling 3,000 of. The amount of guards that we are making is phenomenal. Thousands and thousands of guards are being made, and we cannot keep up with demand. Of course, everybody wants to open, and we can't make them fast enough.

We went through a year's worth of material in a month and a half. We're getting more material shipped in, but it's a worldwide shortage on material right now because this demand is worldwide. We have more than enough business to hire more people. My crew is complaining they're tired because, I mean, it's non-stop, all day long.

JOE TRIMBLE: We installed them to protect the exposure of the cashiers and the customers because, you know, everyone who walks in the door has, could have, may have COVID-19, and I don't want anyone to get sick.

MIKE ADELSON: Nothing we've seen before in all the 35 years I've been in business. And it's a huge demand. We're getting many, many calls and emails per day. I had no idea that the sneeze guards-slash-partitions would become such a big part of our business. And what's been happening is, it's been harder and harder to get material. That's been the huge challenge.

TILLIE ADELSON: You know, we're a part of something that's bigger than ourselves right now. Everybody in the world is dealing with this pandemic. And the amazing thing is that we're actually really able to be a part of it and be a really important cog in the wheel, and that makes me feel really good.