Investment boost for sustainable packaging manufacturer DUO

Manchester-based green packaging manufacturer DUO has invested a further £700,000 in its North West headquarters to support its growth.

This follows a £1.85m investment into new equipment and the expansion of its facilities in 2020, with the latest round of investment going to new conversion equipment and improvements in the company’s print department to help customers boost the environmental performance of their packaging.

The company, which provides packaging solutions to retailers including N Brown Group, Joules and Thrift+, is working closely with customers to further improve packaging sustainability ahead of the introduction of next year’s Plastic Packaging Tax in the UK.

From April 2022, a new levy will be applied to companies using plastic packaging containing less than 30% recycled content.

So far this year, DUO has already helped around two thirds (62%) of its customers to adapt packaging to include at least 30% recycled plastic, and more than 50% of the products it has produced contain more than 30% recycled content.

The new conversion equipment will enable DUO to increase its production output by approximately 10% each year to support growth in demand for its products, while delivering greater energy efficiency for the business

Investment in the company’s print department has seen the installation of a solvent recovery machine.

This filters usable materials, which are produced as a by-product during printing, enabling them to be reused and reducing wastage.

The investment in its print department will also streamline cleaning processes and reduce the amount of solvent used.

Dale Brimelow, operations director at DUO, said: “We continuously review and scrutinise each step of our production as part of our Pact for the Planet to ensure that we can confidently offer the most sustainable packaging solutions and processes to our customers at the time.

“The pact looks at how, as a supplier, we can reduce our carbon emissions by investing in smart machinery and reduce our reliance on fossil-derived polymers. Since 2018, we’ve reduced our use of virgin polymers by almost 25%.

“With the introduction of the UK’s Plastic Packaging Tax, companies are typically coming to us thinking about material first.

“Our role is to help educate businesses to take a full lifecycle view of any packaging product to show how material weight, material type, carbon footprint and end of life options all play a part, which enables companies to properly appraise the environmental performance of packaging throughout the whole supply chain.

“This will often prove a more sustainable approach than focusing solely on recycling or recycled content, and the improvements we’re making to our production processes will go further toward supporting this.”

To support its continued growth, DUO is also recruiting for a further seven roles across the business.

Dale added: “By investing in improving our own processes and building the expertise within our team, we can contribute further to supporting our customers to reduce their overall environmental impact more effectively.”


DUO’s brand director Zoe Brimelow is one of the speakers joining the free sustainability conference In the Circle on 30 June. She will be part of the Using Innovation to Drive Sustainability in Manufacturing panel which will look at how innovation will drive the sustainability agenda.

Book you free tickets for In The Circle North West here.


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