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Avery Dennison manufacturing hand sanitizer for those in need

PHOTO PROVIDED Three pails of hand sanitizer wait to be packaged and shipped.

MILL HALL — Local manufacturer Avery Dennison Chemical Division is planning to give back to the community it calls home.

The Mill Hall-based company recently began manufacturing hand sanitizer and plans to begin distributing it to local medical personnel as early as next week.

“The idea began as a covered countermeasure to a pandemic under the Public Readiness and Emergency Preparedness Act. We then pursued and received temporary FDA approval to be able to distribute it for use outside the plant. We’re working with local officials on how to get it to local people who are in need,” plant manager Marc Cottman said.

Cottman said the company first received approved instructions from the CDC and WHO on how to properly make hand sanitizer and first produced it for our own use inside the plant.

“We’ve been able to repurpose one of our reactors at the plant using clean, all-new equipment to make it safely,” he said.

PHOTO PROVIDED An Avery Dennison employee performs lab scale testing of the CDC and WHO formulation to manufacture hand sanitizer.

After two weeks, Avery Dennison was able to make roughly 3,000 pounds of hand sanitizer.

“Initially our focus was internal and now we’re looking to expand,” he said.

Cottman said the company plans to first begin distributing the hand sanitizer to local hospitals and emergency responders but said they will also look into other options such as nursing homes.

Since the pandemic began, Avery Dennison has followed strict social distancing guidelines to ensure employee and customer safety.

“Since day one we’ve been following CDC and health department recommendations, including practicing social distancing and telling all employees to frequently wash their hands. We’ve increased our sanitizations and disinfecting within the facility and are requiring mandatory temperature checks for all employees before they enter the facility,” Cottman said.

PHOTO PROVIDED Packaged pails of hand sanitizer are boxed up and awaiting shipment.

The company has also significantly reduced the number of contractors and visitors at their site and are requiring delivery drivers remain in their vehicle at all times, he continued.

“In terms of workforce, those who are able to work from home are doing so. We have a number of employees working remotely to help aid our social distancing,” he said.

Overall, Cottman said the company has seen an increase in production since the pandemic began.

“There’s been a significant impact. Our adhesive grades are used to supply tapes and labels to many life-saving products in medical, pharmaceutical, food and other essential industries,” he said.

Visit https://www.loc8nearme.com/pennsylvania/mill-hall/avery-dennison-chemical-division/5667554/ for more information about Avery Dennison and their operation in Mill Hall.

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