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Tees Valley Mayor, Ben Houchen visited Coveris’ speciality bag making facility in Hartlepool on Thursday 28th October to show his support for the business’ latest investment into a new state-of-the-art machine used in the manufacture of COVID-19 self-test kits.

Coveris is a leading European packaging company responsible for the manufacture of award-winning paper and plastic solutions for some of the world’s most respected brands. With 29 sites located throughout Europe and the Middle East, its speciality bag making facility in Hartlepool has been a critical area of the business during the last 18 months in its fight against COVID-19.

Partnering with diagnostic sample collection and regulatory compliant transport partner, MedDx, the manufacturer has been supplying its patented Intervoid® UltraSeal 95kPa sample bags to the NHS and other test partners to enable the safe collection and transportation of PCR tests.

Having produced over 125 million bags to date, today’s new investment into a custom-built LEMO speciality bag machine sees the manufacturer ramp up capacity to support increased demand for self-sampling kits for COVID and beyond.

The high security bags support the safe collection and testing of PCR tests which need to be tamper evident, leak proof to an internal pressure of 95 kPa (0.95 bar) and compliant with UN3373 for transport of category B biological samples. The bags also utilise leading track and trace technology for unique sample identification and traceability.

Having expedited the technology and practice of sample collection and processing, the manufacturer is now looking to the future of self-sampling and hopes to expand its products into new at-home markets for other healthcare and laboratory testing to support improved transportation and technology.

Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen said: “This new investment is a vote of confidence in our area and it has helped create more good-quality, well-paid jobs for the people of Hartlepool, as well and Teesside and Darlington.

“Coveris is going from strength to strength, innovating in the face of the coronavirus pandemic. It was fantastic to hear about Coveris’s efforts to further expand and work with more local businesses to provide them with their packaging, as well as its ambitious plans for the future."