Packaging manufacturer opens new recycling hub at its plastic-film production facility in Lincolnshire to keep plastic circular

Coveris' Christian Kolark and Mark Dalby at Louth opening ceremony

Coveris’ Christian Kolark and Mark Dalby at Louth opening ceremony

Leading packaging manufacturer Coveris has announced the opening of a pioneering new recycling facility at its factory in Louth, Lincolnshire, that uses ground-breaking de-inking technology to help produce new printed packaging films from recycled waste product.

The new ReCover facility, the second in Coveris’ portfolio, is dedicated ”to closing the loop and keeping plastic circular” by cleaning and recycling waste printed polyethylene (PE) films for use in the manufacture of new PE products, the firm said in a statement.

The dedicated ReCover facility within Coveris Louth’s PE extrusion and conversion site uses a de-inking recycling process where ink is removed from printed film packaging waste that is then regranulated into high quality recycled PE resin, ReGen.

Creating a new recycling infrastructure within the packaging industry, the two-year development of ReCover Louth’s capabilities produces a larger and more consistent supply of quality recycled resin, ReGen, for use in packaging film production, Coveris said.

This achieves significant environmental benefits by reducing reliance on virgin raw material, eliminating waste and keeping plastic as part of a circular loop.

The facility comprises a ReCover Lab, a fully equipped laboratory to support innovation, quality control and validation of ReGen recyclate and its use in the extrusion of Coveris’ recycled content films.

“When we started to develop ReCover, our ambition was to close the loop and introduce a new business model, establishing ourselves as a recycler with a clear leadership in technological know-how. With ReCover Louth we opened the second facility, which represents the next achievement milestone in our agenda,” said Christian Kolarik, CEO of Coveris.

Supporting Coveris’ No Waste vision and wider packaging sustainability frameworks in the United Kingdom and European Union, ReCover Louth creates a new lifecycle for printed PE packaging films from post-industrial waste (PIW) sources, he added.

With a long history of reprocessing, Coveris Louth’s printed film waste was previously recycled into building films. The development and introduction of ReCover Louth’s de-inking recycling capabilities allows printed film waste to be redirected into ReGen pellet production and upcycled into high performance non-food packaging including collation shrink films and tissue paper overwrap.

With the capacity to produce 5,000 tonnes of ReGen pellets annually, ReCover Louth uses printed waste feedstock from within the Coveris Group, its customers’ production waste and suitable post-industrial waste films from the industry. ReGen pellet will initially be used to fulfil requirements of recycled content within the Coveris Group and is compliant with the UK Plastic Packaging Tax, in addition to supporting UK Plastic Pact targets.

The new recycling facility, Recover Louth, is the second addition to Coveris’ closed loop recycling business segment. Coveris announced the launch of ReCover in December 2022, alongside the acquisition of a post-consumer waste mechanical recycling facility, now operating as ReCover Blaenavon. Through its capabilities at both ReCover sites, Coveris optimises the recycling of post-industrial and post-consumer PE waste in its mission to keep plastic circular.

Martin Davis, Coveris’ business unit films president, said: “Sustainability is at the heart of our business and the development and opening of ReCover Louth, our second recycling facility, is a significant step in our No Waste journey.

“Not only are we innovating and building more recycling infrastructure for the plastic packaging sector, but we are also developing longer and more circular lifecycles for our products.

“We are passionate about packaging and the value it brings; I am extremely proud of the Coveris and ReCover Louth teams for our ambitious and pioneering approach to developing and exploring new technologies to create a more sustainable future for packaging.”