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How long does COVID last on surfaces?

Why do we have to keep washing our hands?

How is the printing industry making a difference?


As the “new normal” continues to affect all areas of our work and social lives, protecting our work force and our customers is of primary importance regardless of industry. When lockdown is suitably lifted, businesses like those in the hospitality industry, will start to open and keeping the public safe will be paramount.

The printing industry has not been slow in reinventing itself to maintain some sort of production level and producing innovative products that protect people, has been prominent in certain industry sectors, with everything from social distancing floor mats and signage, through to PPE and plastic shields replacing standard work.

Each element produced to protect us, has its part to play and with new operating procedures in the workplace and constant hand washing, we continue to attempt to keep coronavirus in check.

But why do we need to keep sanitising our hands, to many this seems not only pointless but potentially overkill…or is it?

We found it rather alarming when we researched this piece, to find out the length of time that coronavirus will survive on a smooth plastic surface. In fact, the length of time it takes for the virus to die on different surfaces, may make you seriously think about how you approach touching things in the future!

Here’s a little list:

According to research, “on a very smooth PP film surface, the average life span of coronavirus is usually between 4 and 7 days depending on the environment conditions”.

So how can we further protect items that are regularly touched?

The printing industry has the answer.

Antimicrobial laminating film is the latest print-related COVID-protection-tech to control bacteria and handle virus elimination on printed items.

Antimicrobial laminates offer the ultimate in protection against the spread of bacteria and harmful microorganisms and dramatically reduces the chance of transfer through physical contact.

Antimicrobial laminate has a surface that reduces bacterial and viral growth and kills 99% of the bacteria in 24 hours that are known to cause ill-health and illness, making it perfect for use in public spaces and on products that are frequently handled.

Our antimicrobial laminating film kills 84.15% of viruses in 24 hours (using higher additive content would compromise the level of transparency in the film, a key requirement for printed paper and cardboard printed material.)

The recommendation is to clean the surface with a non-abrasive, non-aggressive cleaner or chemical. For example, antibacterial sprays can be used to clean the surface, providing they do not damage the film physically.

A superior technology which lasts the lifetime of the product

The next step up from antibacterial laminates and antimicrobial overlaminates, antimicrobial laminates incorporate an additive which adds antiviral properties to the material. This is not an outer coating, antiviral additives are extruded with the base PP ensuring protection for the lifetime of your laminated product, with no wear or leaching.

Our antimicrobial Gloss & Matt, available for Wet, Thermal & Digital, has been tested by independent laboratories to prove its antimicrobial properties for both viruses and bacteria. The certificated results contained the following information:

Antiviral Properties

Tests were carried out by an independent laboratory according to ISO 21702, certifying antiviral activity on plastic surfaces and other non-porous surfaces.

Trials showed that after 2 hours there is a 65% reduction in viruses in the surface area, after 12 hours there is a reduction of 73% and after 24 hours there is a reduction of 84%.

These reductions have been tested with the feline coronavirus (FCoV), strain Munich, which shares characteristics with SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19).

Antibacterial Properties

Tests were carried out by an independent laboratory according to ISO 22196, certifying antibacterial activity on plastic surfaces and other non-porous surfaces.

Tests showed that after 24 hours there is a reduction of more than 99% of bacteria on its surface.

The bacteria used for this trial were Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA) and Escherichia Coli (E-Coli).

These two bacteria were chosen because they affect humans differently and with commonly differentiated transmission pathways.

Anti-Fungal and anti-Mould properties:

It is believed that anti-Fungal and anti-Mould properties are also apparent due the biocidal manufacturing process but were not tested.

So what are the real benefits?

Antimicrobial laminating film protects product surfaces “in-between-cleans,” better and faster than a product without this technology.

Please Note: Actual antimicrobial performance can vary depending on environmental conditions, especially temperature.

View our antimicrobial film range for more details on its antiviral properties


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