Coveris opens new scientific hub

Richard Stuart-Turner
Monday, July 12, 2021

Sustainable packaging manufacturer Coveris has opened a new Film Science Lab at its Winsford films facility in Cheshire.

The new facility will work alongside other R&D centres within Coveris
The new facility will work alongside other R&D centres within Coveris

Fully operational as of last week, Coveris said the new scientific hub “will support the accelerated R&D of innovative solutions across the manufacturer’s extensive product range and global customer base”.

The new lab, which is located at Europe’s largest co-extrusion facility, supports the group’s ‘No Waste’ vision across its operations, packaging, and the products it protects. The aim of this initiative is to minimise waste in all three areas, as well as offsetting this through inclusion in its own materials.

The lab supports the development, formulation, and analysis of new and improved recyclable polyethylene (PE) films for food and non-food applications.

Responsible for the development of new sustainable films, Coveris said the lab will target material reduction through the delivery of best-in-class, downgauged films alongside the development of recyclable barrier and laminate replacements with advanced functional performance up to nine layers.

Meeting increased demand for recycled content and driven by the 2022 legislative UK Plastics Packaging Tax requirements, the lab also supports food-safe recycled content application via mechanical sources, including its own reprocessing operations and closed-loop partnerships, as well as chemical recyclate options supported by its recent ISCC+ accreditation.

Services at the lab will include multilayer structural and performance engineering, downgauging, safety and migration testing, and water vapour transmission rate (WVTR) and oxygen transmission rate (OTR) testing.

The new facility will work alongside other R&D centres within Coveris, including the group’s complementary analytical support lab and testing facility in Kufstein, Austria. The group has also recently launched a satellite test lab at its Louth site in Lincolnshire.

Mike Richardson, technical director of the Winsford site, said: “Having led the technical development of PE films for over 25 years, the new lab marks the next step in our journey to offering an even more sustainable solution – not only maximising the recyclability of our products, but also their recycled content.

“Food safety and operational assurance are paramount in the consideration of new materials, particularly recycled films, therefore having a dedicated scientific resource and test facility to mitigate risk and accelerate development enhances our existing capabilities and provides huge benefits for our customer base and the wider industry moving forward.”

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