By Deanne Jeffers
ESTABLISHED in 1989 and still 100 percent Australian owned, Med-Con is a manufacturing and importing company near Shepparton that famously rose to the task of supplying disposable face masks to the State and Federal Governments when they were not available in Australia during the pandemic.
Med-Con continues to make around 18M masks a year and is developing a machine to make the preferred N95 surgical masks, in addition to its seven other mask-looping machines. They also make protective footwear covers, headwear and underpads for medical and food production sectors.
Driven by innovation and meeting local consumer-demand with locally made products, Med-Con is increasingly seeking to makes its products eco-friendly. Operations manager, Grant McGrath recently attended the world’s largest nonwoven materials exhibition in Geneva, Switzerland, seeking innovations and biodegradable alternatives they can apply to their personal protective wear (PPE) made in the Goulburn Valley.
“We’ve already developed biodegradable underpads, and now we are looking for new ways to make our other products biodegradable too,” Grant said.
“In most cases, it isn’t realistic that the entire product is biodegradable. We make protective hats that are secured with a rubber band. If the rubber is the only non-biodegradable component, then at least 95 to 99 percent will be broken down.”
While manufacturers and consumers pay more for environmentally friendly and Australian made products, they are the “way of the future,” said Grant. Supporting them ensures the survival of Australian manufacturing, the local jobs and boost to the economy they provide.