APR Continues to Meet Community Need for Environmentally-friendly Masks

As the Covid-19 pandemic continues to severely affect countries around the world, every citizen must follow the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) recommendations to practice social distancing and wear masks at all times outside of their homes. These are practical steps we can all take to stop the spread of the virus.

In Indonesia, the government has echoed these recommendations, advising everyone – healthy and asymptomatic – to wear masks in public places, to help flatten the Covid-19 curve.

Asia Pacific Yarn (APY), the newest business of Asia Pacific Rayon (APR), is committed to meeting the need for environmentally-friendly face masks by producing reusable fabric masks using our viscose staple fibre (VSF) made with PEFC-certified dissolving wood pulp. The pulp is sourced from sustainably managed forest plantations in Indonesia. The APY face masks can be washed and reused.

The VSF used to produce the fabric masks are is 100% plant-based, medically tested and has received Seedling compostable and DIN-Geprüft industrial compostable certifications. OEKO-TEX® STD 100 certificate confirms that the VSF has been tested for harmful substances and that they are safe for use.

Since March 2020, APR has produced more than 100,000 face masks and distributed them to the communities who reside in our operational areas. These include all employees and their families residing in the Riau Complex in Pangkalan Kerinci, district and government offices, local police force and local agencies.

Edy Saputra, APR’s Learning and Development Specialist, uses the masks provided by APY. “I find the mask breathable, reusable and it leaves no marks on my face after being taken off,” he said.

viscose cloth mask is sustainable
APR has distributed mask to employees and families

APR recently collaborated with Riau Andalan Pulp and Paper (RAPP)’s Forest Protection team to conduct its annual Fire Free Village Program (FFVP), and distributed 2,430 masks to villagers in the Pelalawan sub-district.

The FFVP aims to raise awareness among local communities about the importance of forest and land fire prevention, typically through activities such as the distribution of its popular ‘Alam and Bunga’ comic series to young students in Riau, educational film screenings and informational talks at participating villages.

Riana Ekawati, Fire Aware Community Coordinator, explained this year has been entirely different with the pandemic and the communities unable to gather in big events to socialise.

mask with viscose material
APR distributes reusable fabric masks to the communities made with viscose

“So the fire prevention education has mostly had to take place by way of our team visiting the communities and making house visits to talk to residents, one by one.

“It was during these visits that we realised that many residents did not have proper masks, and limited resource to purchase them during this pandemic. That is why we collaborated with APR to produce and distribute reusable fabric masks to the communities made with viscose produced locally,” Riana said.

Riana added, “The villagers were delighted to receive the masks, and immediately put them on. We made sure to inform them about how to care for the mask to ensure it is reusable and durable.”

Tengku Maziya Rahma, a fourth-grade student at SD 001 in Pelalawan sub-district, was unable to hide her happiness when she received her free mask.

“I’m really surprised to learn this mask was made in our home in Pangkalan Kerinci,” she said.

viscose is best material for mask
APR in collaboration with RAPP’s Fire Free Villang Program to distribute viscose cloth mask to community in Pelalawan

According to Basrie Kamba, APR Director, “As an integrated manufacturer of viscose from sustainable plantations to VSF, we are committed to grow together with our communities surrounding our operations. It aligns with our founder’s philosophy being good for the community, good for the country, good for the climate, good for the customer, and only then is it good for the company.

“In this challenging time, we want to help communities. Ensuring that households have access to face masks is meeting their health and well-being at this time of need. APR has also established other partnerships to produce environmentally friendly fabric masks, including our collaboration with PT Pan Brothers Tbk and the small SME group Juwana Juwono in East Java.”

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