‘Packaging Heroes’ come to the fore as industry responds to coronavirus crisis

While many industries have been hit hard by the unprecedented effects of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the worldwide packaging community has responded by supporting numerous welfare efforts.


Jan De Roeck, Director of Marketing, Industry Relations & Strategy at Esko Jan De Roeck, Director of Marketing, Industry Relations & Strategy at Esko

“These are the strangest of times,” said Jan De Roeck, Esko Marketing Director, Industry Relations and Strategy. “With the continuation of the global food, hygiene and pharmaceutical packaging supply chains being so crucial to society, it has been heartening to see the way packaging sectors have sought to not only meet increased consumer requirements but also go above and beyond in their response to the crisis.

“Many businesses have reported huge spikes in demand for their services during this unprecedented time of challenge,” said Jan. “Yet packaging converters around the world have also been involved in supporting the front-line efforts of health care workers – and the broader community.

Jan said that in the UK, colleagues at Barnstaple-based Atlas Packaging had garnered praise for keeping the critical supply chain flowing to the NHS, Military and Food Service sectors, while in Leicester, workers at Data Image Group Ltd had been lauded for using their expertise to produce thousands of vital protection screens.

“In the USA, the team at Arkansas-based Resource Design carried out some amazing work,” said Jan, “designing and manufacturing Plexiglas boxes made specifically to shield Health Care Workers on the front lines while they save lives intubating COVID-19 patients.

Further north, colleagues at Certa Opportune in Canada worked around the clock to produce 1,000 sneeze guards and visors each day, while the team at AG Event Graphics Group in Ontario created brilliantly effective floor graphics in support of the health care effort.

“In Europe, Spanish company Flexogràfico has been hard at work creating face shields for its customers across the country, while the team at Zeefdrukkerij Zeven in Belgium have been putting their digital finishing tables through their paces, cutting Plexiglas screens which can be fitted either onto counters or in meeting rooms.

“Back in the UK, the sense of community responsibility extends beyond health care too,” said Jan. “The Alexir Partnership came up with an amazing initiative to entertain young children with packaging through the Easter break, whilst Kettering-based Rigid Containers Limited donated 600 corrugated boxes to Kettering Borough Council for the creation of food parcels for the most vulnerable in the community.

“We’ve been continually and simultaneously moved, thrilled and surprised by the work we’ve been witnessing by these companies,” said Jan. “Although none of those involved are seeking reward or appreciation, we feel it only right that they be recognized as packaging and print heroes and we all take pride in being part of this hugely important and impressive community.”

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