By incorporating the new Touchguard over lacquer, the innovative anti–bacterial design delivers a surface finish that inhibits the growth of bacteria. Utilising a silver–based technology, the coating can be applied as a water or solvent–based finish and is ideal for a range of packaging formats including flow wraps, lidding films and pouches. New Product Development Technical Manager at Parkside, Mark Shaw, said: “Our collaboration with Touchguard has enabled us to create a truly innovative and industry-leading packaging solution that will enable our clients to keep their customers safe. The current Covid-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on all our lives and it’s important we are all doing what we can to protect ourselves. This new packaging development is supporting that fight.” At Parkside, the Touchguard technology is applied during the print finishing process as a component of a specially formulated solvent–based over lacquer. As a result, it adds only pence per square metre to the packaging production process, enabling brands to keep print costs down. Notably, Touchguard is also proven to reduce the growth of MRSA by 99.97% and E. coli by 99.96%, making it an ideal solution for food packaging. Mark Shaw added: “This latest packaging development from Parkside and Touchguard in no way replaces the need for careful hand washing. However, it is an innovative solution which can inhibit the spread of cross–contamination on packaging substrates that are not usually subject to any cleaning or infection control procedures.” The coated packaging solution has been thoroughly tested in lab applications and is seen to be stable and exhibit an environment which, following the current UK Government and varying chemical society guidelines, will render the Covid-19 virus inactive. The coating has already been independently assessed and certified for anti-bacterial performance to ISO 22196:2011.