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.”