The 8th Speciality Film and Flexible Packaging Global Summit organized by Elite Plus Business Services, was held on 22nd and 23rd August 2019 at Hotel Sahara Star, Mumbai. The theme of this year’s Summit was “Growth with Sustainability”. A large part of the Summit’s agenda was devoted to sustainability and included eminent speakers from Govt. policymakers and industry. The Summit attracted 1370 delegates representing 510 companies from 21 countries. Technical presentations were spread over 9 business sessions and 3 panel discussions.
Nidhi Verma, Director, Elite Plus welcomed the delegates. The Keynote speakers were Kamal Nanavaty, President Strategy Development, Reliance Industries Ltd., Vipul Shah, COO Petrochemicals Reliance Industries Ltd., Ashok Chaturvedi, CMD Uflex Ltd., David Clark, VP Sustainability Amcor, Shubhada Rao, Group Director & Chief Economist YES Bank, Shri. Raghavendra Rao, Secy DCPC, Shri. C K S Mishra, Secy, MoEF and Ajit Singh, Chairman and co-founder ACG World. Shri. Prakash Javadekar, Hon’ble Minister of Environment, Forests and Climate Change, & Minister of Information and Broadcasting, Govt. of India could not be present, he sent a video message for the Summit.
Secy DCPC in his address said that controlling or managing plastic waste is the right choice for the industry. As the economy grows from US $ 2.7 Trn to US$ 5 Trn, the manufacturing share will grow to US$ 1 Trn. The Chemical share in manufacturing at present is 17% and the goal is to take it to 25% of manufacturing. Various Govt. schemes will lead to growth in plastic consumption. The latest scheme is providing drinking water to all houses. He shared the vision of his Dept. for the Chemical industry which included making India a manufacturing hub, Reduce import dependency, Attract investment, Promote cluster approach of industrial growth, ensure sustainability and increase the use of renewable feedstock’s.
Secy MoEF & CC in his address said that there is a focus on sustainability and it is a buzz world now. Flexible packaging is growing and it has brought many problems. As the economy grows, so will waste. He was happy to be present among the industry captains from the flexible packaging world and expressed that we have not been communicating enough. Even though we have solutions before us, we need to know the contributions of each one of us. He added that a segment of the industry is in denial mode. He stressed that the industry must provide solutions, and the Govt. will help. In the last 2-3 months, approx 16-17 laws have been changed with industry interaction. The Industry must come forward with the solutions. The Hon’ble PM has also appealed to the countrymen to stop the use of Single-Use plastic-SUP. The Volume of plastics in the sea and rivers is huge. On World Environment Day in Jun 2018 Delhi, a commitment was made to stop use of SUP by 2022. In addition, India has global commitments to reduce the intensity of emission, Change power mix to 40% renewables and provide carbon sink to 2.5 to 3.0 Billion kgs of carbon.
The Secy also said that 2016 PWM rules and EPR guidelines though made a law, have not yet been implemented. He will be very happy to hear from the industry how to do it. What needs to be done has to be done. We must have the will to do it. Plastics are most visible, there are no collection back mechanism. There is a cost to a better life and everyone will have to bear the cost. He concluded by saying that sharp results don’t come from blunt weapons. MoEF is open to suggestions. He wants his ministry to be not seen as regulating the industry but as a development partner. He expected some out of box ideas from the Summit.
Hon’ble Minister of MoEF & CC was to attend the conference but could not come. Though he sent his video message. The key content of his message included: Plastics are not bad, plastics have improved life. Flexible packaging has added value. Uncollected plastics is a problem and needs to be collected. 2016 PWM rules did not allow bags below 50 microns as a thumb rule but not followed. Flexible packaging also requires thinner films. EPR is a solution. Users need to get educated. Marine litter is a worldwide problem playing havoc with the sea. Hon’ble Minister informed that he visited a dumpsite and talked to rag pickers. For thin bag collection, a person has to bend 400 times to collect one kg plastics. We need to avoid this plastic reaching the dumpsite and segregate it right in the beginning. Brand owners and users of the packaging must include on the package itself, how to use and dispose of the packaging. MLP are an issue to recycle. The Hon’ble minister said that he looking forward to suggestions so that suitable guidelines can be issued. In Sep/ Oct his ministry plans to have countrywide conferences on plastic waste management. He said that they are not banning anything provided the industry collects it and go for a circular economy. He said waste is wealth. He is waiting for conclusions and suggestion from the Summit.
The Summit had three panel discussions relevant to sustainability.
The topics of panel discussions were:
- Defining Single Use plastics
- Strategies for fulfilling EPR Obligations and
- PWM– Experience of leading Waste collection and disposal start-ups.
SUP panel discussion brought up many issues. The definition is in the public domain. Use of packed product or packaging should determine single use? In road making any type of plastic film can be used without an issue. Even MLP is a preferred material to be used in road-making. True circularity is back to monomer and mechanical recycling. Even if mechanical recycling is used, the end product to have decades of useful life so that it doesn’t come back for recycling again. Roadmaking put the plastic away for 40-50 years. There is no grave for plastics and are reborn in the form of new applications. Some delegates raised the issue whether defining SUP is an automatic ban or before banning whether Govt. will allow industry an opportunity to present its views?
In the panel discussion on fulfilling EPR obligations, leading brands shared their experiences and modus operandi. ITC has targeted 21 lac households to educate them on disposal of low-value plastics. App 12000 MTs plastics have been sent by them to cement kilns. Nestle started Hildari movement for collecting used bags in Missouri hills and no plastic is going to landfills in Missouri. Haldiram is collecting plastic through a PRO.
Waste collection and disposal start-up panel discussion shared do-able and scalable actual experiences on waste collection in their spheres. Gemini Corporation NV is the largest recyclers of waste in the world in the organised sector. Their revenue from waste is Rs 160,000 Crs and 150,000 people working for them Sahas Zero Waste has improved the life of waste collectors. Swachh Cooperative society working with 12000 waste pickers in Pune. Kagad Kach Patra has mobilised 3500 waste pickers collecting 1200 MTs a day from 8.5 lac flats, by lanes, malls etc. MLP collection is through viability funding for which Pune Municipality Corporation has come forward. Indian pollution control Association following EPR approach which is brand and geography neutral and collected 30,000 Mts MLP last year. Presently collecting 2000mT/m. NEPRA is doing a large investment in infrastructure for recycling.
In most discussions, MLP- Multilayer plastics were found to be difficult to recycle. In the keynote address by Mr Ashok Chaturvedi of Uflex, he emphasised that MLP are 100% recyclable and they are doing recycling of all in-house MLP waste generated. Converting them to granule and giving to others to convert moulded products like road divider etc. AP Chemi has pyrolysis solutions for all mixed plastic waste as well as for MLP. They have 75 Mts/day pyrolysis plant to convert waste plastic to diesel.
Many presentations from machinery producers presented alternatives for MLP. MLP has a PET layer which renders the waste non-recyclable by the SSI typical units in India. They presented many film structures of PE on PE or PP on PP which are recyclable. The MLP recyclability scene is set to change soon. Even in other form of packaging, presentation were made where work in on either for reducing pack sizes to reduce use of plastics, Using recyclable content in packaging and redesigning packs to reduce plastic consumption such as liquid wash dispenser with nozzles are being redesigned to use nozzles 100s of times rather than throwing it away with bottle. Even the contents are being sold as concentrates so that the bottle is not discarded but reused with concentrate by adding water.
There is all-round effort on Sustainability brought out in this Summit.
The Summit also had dedicated business sessions highlighting advances in blown film technologies, Film converters, Printing, Inks and adhesives and advances in packaging designs. All focussing on sustainability. The Speakers came from all across the world to share their vision, views and experiences.
In Summary it can be concluded that Govt. and Policymakers think that plastics are not bad and are open to suggestion from industry to contain the menace of litter. Work on changing the film structure of MLP has already begun to make them recyclable with existing technologies with SSI units; Collection mechanisms are required across the country for large scale collection of low-value plastic film waste; Industry must come forward to adopt PWM and the SUP definition.
The main take away from the Summit are:
- New plastics economy aimed at global commitment to end plastic waste,
- growth premium for India stands around 3.6% and it is likely to increase to 4.1% over the next 5-years
- Plastics are indispensable, but plastic waste need to be managed
- Biodegradable plastics can be a good alternative to consider
- Plastics are environmentally sustainable.
- Reducing the material choice is a key to sustainable packaging solutions.
- If all work closely together, we can find Solutions to exixsting pollution problemRecycling is becoming a mega trend.
- Plastics protect and they are universal material choice
- Circularity is increasing in importance
- Processes and developments for a sustainable future are essential
- The sustainability challenge can be turned into viable business potential
- Structural evolutions in flexible packaging are opportunities for sustainability
- With the upgrade of thermal technology, there is huge improvement on exhaust gas emissions control for printing
- OTR & WVTR Permeation Testing On Sustainable Packaging is important
- Good data acquisition is very useful for sustainability
- Corona or Plasma Surface treatment can be very useful sustainable solution
- Replacing composite laminate structures by monolithic structures are easier to recycle.
- Adhesives and coatings as enablers of circular economy in packaging and consumer goods
- Non Toluene Non Ketone blends for Ink can be environmentally better.
- Oxo bio degradable additive may be able to prevent litter
- A shift towards higher level of agriculture processing, will lead to increased demand for packaged food and beverage products in India.
- Any single use plastic should be judged on the basis of utility and its adverse impacts on the environment
- Brand owners need a unified policy across the country
- New technology for recycling and waste management need to be practiced
- Collection of waste has to be improved.
Nidhi Verma who was at the helm of this Summit thanked all Attendess at end of day 2 and took feedback from all as input .
ElitePlus++ Business Services is India’s leading knowledge base platform covering energy (including oil and gas, coal and renewables), chemicals, petchem, polymers and downstream processing industries, providing knowledge summits across these verticals.
Thus far, we have held over 70 events of global scale and standards. Our Signature summits include Vinyl India-International PVC & Chlor – Alkali Summit, Speciality Films and Flexible Packaging Global Summit; Injection, Blow, Roto & PET Moulding International Summit, which attract over 950 attendees each, from close to 25 countries- making our platform a truly International one.
Decision makers and End Users make the majority of our attending delegates, from verticals such as Resin Manufacturers, Downstream Processors, Machinery Suppliers, Technology Licensors, Additives suppliers, Raw Material Providers, Compounders & Converters, Indenters, Consultants, Institutions and Industry Associations as well as prominent Government policymakers. The star attraction is the presence of End users- the FMCG, Pharma companies who actually are users of the products in large numbers.
Our Panel Discussions highlighting current issues and topics impacting the industry, and CEO Round-tables stimulates new thinking and provides a unique networking environment to discuss the challenges, innovations and growth options.
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