New plastic film developed to help Co-op Group hit recycling target

The Group is partnered with a specialist firm, Coveris, which has created the new product to make ready meal trays easier to recycle

The Co-op Group has taken another step towards meeting its recycling commitments thanks to a new technological development by its partner Coveris.

At its AGM in May, the Group pledged to make 80% of its own-brand packaging recyclable by 2020. To help achieve this, the coatings specialist has developed a multilayer film with integral sealing capabilities that enables current polyethylene-lined trays to be more easily recycled.

The development comes after figures from the Group showed that two-thirds of all plastics packaging used for consumer products in the UK are being sent to landfill or incineration with only one-third of the 1.5 million tonnes of recyclable waste created every year being recycled.

Coveris is a packaging partner of the Co-op and developed the product at its Winsford, UK blown extrusion facility. Technical engineers worked to formulate a thin, multilayer polyester barrier solution that enables plastics lidding film to be heat-sealed directly to the packaging tray through integral capabilities within the material.

Traditionally, the film is sealed to the pre-lined tray using a PE bonding layer, which currently makes the PET tray more unlikely to be recycled. The finished format is said to offer a sustainable, high-quality, high-performance solution for tray packed products.

Iain Ferguson, Co-op’s environment manager, said: “The Co-op is delighted to see packaging manufacturers such as Coveris producing new developments that help us to achieve our ambition of making our packaging easy to recycle.”

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