The history of the paper cup that we all know too well has roots dating back to the early 1900’s as a sanitary, single use alternative to reduce the spread of infection. Fast forward to the current day during a global pandemic and yet again we see the paper cup making a stand within the medical world to help save lives.
Clement Clarke International has been manufacturing medical instrumentation to assist in the screening, monitoring and treating of a wide range of respiratory conditions since 1917. One of their latest innovations is the DispozABLE Spacer Cup, used as an alternative to traditional plastic spacer tubes, to allow the correct dosage of the inhaled drug from a pressurised dose inhaler to enter the lungs of someone suffering an acute asthma attack. It is essentially a single wall printed paper cup without the bottom attached, creating a tapered paper tube. A specially designed mouth piece and inhaler attachment then slide over each end of the paper cup, creating a single use inhaler tube.
Studies show that someone in the UK suffers a life threatening asthma attack every 10 seconds with over a million acute asthma suffers being children. The product is designed to be used in a state of emergency, primarily in schools where young children that require a medical inhaler might suffer breathing difficulties. Its low cost design and ease of use means that schools and medical facilities can stock the lifesaving product without massively impacting their budget, encouraging a widespread endorsement of the product.
Although schools in the UK may be closed during this period of Coronavirus lockdown, the DispozABLE Spacer Cup has never been more valuable. There has been an increase in demand for such a device due to the nature of the virus and the way it attacks the respiratory system of the patient. Covid-19 causes breathing difficulties with symptoms similar to that of pneumonia, meaning that medical inhalers are being used in ambulances and situations where advanced breathing apparatus are not available in an emergency.
Much like a paper cup, the DispozABLE Spacer Cup starts its life in a brand new and unused state. This means that there is minimal risk of spreading infection from one person to another through possible cleaning malpractice that may occur with regular plastic spacer tubes. This is exactly the reason the paper cup first came into being in the early 1900’s, as a solution to reduce the spread of infection between people from sharing multi-use cups. Due to the Coronavirus epidemic sweeping the globe, we have witnessed a shift away from multi-use ceramic mugs being used in coffee shops in favour of their disposable paper counterparts. Consumers are also wearing disposable protective gloves as well as single-use air filtration masks in order to protect themselves against the spread of infection and Covid-19. This is a prime example of how important single use, disposable products are in a time of medical emergency to help reduce the risk of infection.
We, the Printed Cup Company, felt the economic effects of Covid-19 during lockdown due to cafes, restaurants and events making up the majority of the paper cup market. With the closure of such businesses and events being rescheduled there was a knock on effect to the demand and production of printed paper cups. However, we are proud to say that Clement Clarke International is a valued customer of ours and we responded to the surge in demand for their DispozABLE Spacer Cups by keeping the factory running to meet their manufacturing requirements. We increased production to fulfil their needs as well as organising a select team of personnel from the local area to work daily, including bank holiday weekends, to meet production capacity and supply our healthcare system with the support and tools required to do their job. As a nation it is important that we stand together in times like these and support each other in any way that we can. The Printed Cup Company is proud to be a British manufacturer and we are proud to be able to contribute towards the battle against Covid-19. We are in turn grateful to those that supported us, enabling us to keep our doors open, our hard workers in employment and our valued customers satisfied.