Investing in Sustainability Always a Focus of Innovation at Coveris

Monday, January 16th, 2017

A big step has been taken in limiting the environmental impact at Coveris. The company now operates a flakes PET module, which has been installed in the Coveris Rigid France SAS factory in Soustons, France. The installation was supported financially by the Aquitaine region and is an important part of producing eco-friendly products. By investing in modern materials, machinery and production methods, Coveris is looking to future environmental and business security. Reduction of the company’s carbon footprint fits comfortably into the overall strategy of innovation at Coveris.

The module is instrumental in reducing virgin material and re-uses plastic PET household waste that is almost entirely recovered from national bottle collection schemes. It then converts the recovered post-consumer hot-washed PET flakes into an rPET material that is suitable for manufacture of food packaging where the food comes into direct contact with the packaging. Safety is a top concern when food is in direct contact with packaging, but the public can rest assured because the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has confirmed that the post-consumer rPET flakes processed in the new module are safe for use in all food applications.

At Coveris, being fully committed to the natural environment and business partners means following all sensible standards in place at every level of production. This is why the rPET flakes used at the Soustons factory are sourced from a local supplier in Bayonne, France, which is only 50 kilometers south of Soustons. A local supplier means savings for both the environment and business partners. Fuel costs are reduced by the shorter distance the flakes travel and the shorter delivery route lightens the burden on the natural environment by reducing the amount of fuel burnt and motor vehicle emissions released into the atmosphere. Over 2,600 tons of rPET flakes have been shipped from Bayonne to the Soustons factory via this short supply route, which means Coveris has saved an equal amount of plastic from not being recycled and, in turn, did not need 5,000 tons of oil to produce virgin plastic. Because of this short route, the amount of fuel and human resources needed have been drastically reduced. Another win for the environment and business is the fact that packaging produced with rPET is produced with 100% rPET, with no additives needed, which reduces financial cost and the burden on the environment.

In terms of growth, the Soustons factory will expand capacity thanks to a raise in sales volume. To ensure organic growth, investments in two PET thermoforming lines will be launched this year and one PET extrusion line will launch in 2017. A total of 20 employees have already been hired.

Protecting future natural resources is important and Coveris recognizes this by striving to create sustainable packaging and coating solutions. This is not only a goal, but an essential element at Coveris. Protection of these resources is balanced with the functional and economic needs of customers, forming a commendable model of environmental stewardship and sound business judgment.