A health worker in Mexico wears a reusable PPE suit made by MEDU Protection. On the right, Tamara Chayo, CEO of MEDU Protection, displays one of her reusable suits. Photo Credit: Thomtson Reuters Foundation/MEDU Protection

Environment Mexico1. August 2021

This Student Invented a Reusable Alternative to Single-Use Medical Garments!

A young chemical engineering student from Mexico managed to invent some reusable equipment for hospital staff dealing with the coronavirus, preventing tons of single-use plastic from ending up in landfills, waterways, and incinerators.

“I’m really excited about this,” says Tamaro Chayo, the 21-year-old young entrepreneur who co-founded MEDU Protection where she developed sustainable personal protective equipment (PPE). “We’re not just making medical apparel, we want to create a movement for a greener medical industry.”

The PPE, Chayo came up with, can be worn all day and washed 50 times before its protective coating wears off. That way, each garment prevents 200 single-use plastic items from being thrown out. Thermal Compaction Group, a Welsh company, makes machines that melt hospital gowns, masks, hairnets, tray wraps, and ward curtains into plastic bricks that are then manufactured into anything, from yarn for clothing to school chairs. In India, Eco-Eclectic Technologies have been turning PPE into bricks since 2016. Their bricks are three times stronger than traditional ones, twice the size, and almost half the cost.

Thomson Reuters Foundation

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