Leading sustainable packaging manufacturer Coveris has today unveiled a new Film Science Lab at its Winsford films facility in Cheshire, UK. Providing state-of-the-art technology and market leading expertise, the new scientific hub will support the accelerated R&D of innovative solutions across the manufacturer’s extensive product range and global customer base.
Supporting the Group’s vision of NO WASTE across its operations, packaging and the products it protects, the new Film Science Lab is a forward thinking initiative that sets out to minimise waste in all three areas, as well as offsetting this through inclusion in its own materials
Located at Europe’s largest co-extrusion facility, the lab supports the development, formulation and analysis of new and improved recyclable polyethylene (PE) films for food and non-food applications. Responsible for developing the sustainable films of the future, the lab targets material reduction through the delivery of best-in-class, downgauged films alongside the development of recyclable barrier and laminate replacement films with advanced functional performance up to 9-layers.
Meeting increased demand for recycled content, driven by the 2022 legislative UK Plastics Packaging Tax requirements, the lab 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.
Offering a suite of world class material science capabilities and technical expertise, services include multilayer structural and performance engineering, downgauging, safety and migration testing and water vapour transmission rate (WVTR) and oxygen transmission rate (OTR) testing.
Linking to a global innovation network, the new Winsford facility will work alongside other R&D centres within Coveris, including the Group’s complementary analytical support lab and testing facility in Kufstein, Austria. Having also recently launched a satellite test lab at its Louth site in Lincolnshire, UK, this facility is set to support the unique material needs of the beverage films sector including shrink, heat and ink testing.
Mike Richardson, Technical Director of the Winsford site commented “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.”