The main theme of the summit was “Sustainable Future of the Flexible Packaging Industry”. The uniqueness of this Summit was participation from complete value chain of flexible packaging including attendance from raw material producers, converters, machinery manufacturers, Additive and adhesive suppliers, printing machine manufacturers, END USERS and FMCG companies.
Overall 1290 delegates from 424 companies representing 26 countries attended the summit. There were 42 presentations from Indian and International speakers, with 2-panel discussions. Ms Nidhi Verma, Director, ElitePlus Business Services welcomed and briefed the delegates about the summit.
In the opening session, Mr K P Nanavaty, President – Strategy Development, RIL reviewed current mega trends and their impact on the future of the plastic packaging industry and the circular economy. Mr Vipul Shah, Chief Operating Officer, RIL said that sustainability initiative has to be incorporated by industries. Mr Sanjiv Mehta, Chairman & Managing Director, Hindustan Unilever Limited & Executive Vice President,Unilever South Asia elaborated on the environmental problems related to plastic packaging industry and suggested that these problems can be converted into opportunities. Mr Raghavendra Rao, IAS, Secretary, DCPC, Government of India informed the delegates about government initiatives for the circular economy. Mr Ashok Chaturvedi , Chairman, Uflex, talked about the extensive work done by them for recycling of Multilayer films. They are willing to share the technology for recycling of MLF free of cost to anyone interested. Pradeep Banerjee, Executive Director, Supply Chain, HUL reviewed different aspects of the circular economy and also observed that all corporate offices are working together on this issue. Sudhir Shrivastava, IAS, chairman, Maharashtra pollution control Board observed that the quantity of waste plastic is accumulating rapidly. He also said that the National Green Tribunal, NGT, wants a time-bound program to tackle plastic waste management. Various issues related to policy and framework on Plastic Waste Management were elaborated in a panel discussion.
The awareness of circular economy should be taken up by the packaging industry. In the second panel, the different methods and their limitations were discussed for the end of life applications of waste plastics. The theme speakers for the evening were Sam Balsara, Chairman and Managing Director, Madison World & Communications speaking on “Brand Building” , Devdutt Pattanaik, Culture Consultant on how to “ How to manage conflict – Lessons from Indian Mythology” and R S Sodhi, Managing Director, AMUL, on the Indian Success Story of Packaging. The Dinner speaker Madhusudan Kela, Managing Director, M K Ventures covered his views on “Raising Capital for Growth – Way forward — IPO or M&A”
On day two, Amit Ray, Executive Director, Uflex described different issues and steps for the way forward to sustainability. Keith Pearson, Immediate Past General Secretary and President, World Packaging Organisation explained that “Sustainable development is a development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs” Rob Cotton, Global Materials R & D Director, PepsiCo. reviewed global sustainability issues for the packaging industry and observed that these issues are environmental, political, social and economic in nature. In many countries, the landfill of plastic waste is not allowed.
Main takeaway points from the summit included: Film Structure design for sustainability
• Using single material in different layers can give better sustainability without losing the barrier properties.
• It is possible to produce a flatter film surface by appropriately modifying the machine design. This gives advantages in better adhesion and sustainability.
• PET films with a transparent deposition layer have advantages over metalized non-transparent conventional films.
• BOPP films will provide the better sustainable solution for recyclability and EPR
• Mineral-filled as well as fully biodegradable packaging films can be one step forward for a sustainable solution.
• A proper innovative polymer can give better barrier properties for sustainable practice.
• Increased cohesion between two main polymeric materials namely PE and PP can lead to sustainable practice with improved recycling.
• Photovoltaic thin films have a great potential for sustainable solutions.
• Automation, digital platform and robotics would help to find a sustainable solution.
• Thin layered transparent films, coated with oxides of aluminium and/or silica have better barrier properties and will provide a sustainable solution.
• For better sustainable results scientific testing of complete packaging system for barrier properties is helpful.
• Machine Design for better sustainability • Machine manufacturers can help sustainability by developing machines requiring less energy and improve the coating efficiency by using the base substrate more effectively
• Machines can be designed to produce mono films with appropriate orientation to provide required barrier properties.
• By modifying the machine design, it is possible to create flexible as well as rigid packaging material from PET
• Different elements of machine design can be improved for sustainable results. The dual turret slitter rewinder saves time and energy. Printing, Coatings and Adhesives
• Digital printing has many challenges and also, therefore, opportunities.
• Innovative polymer substrate can give better quality printing without losing the barrier properties or the recyclability.
• LED UV printing with appropriate water-based inks provides a step towards green technology.
• Appropriate silicone coating can reduce the cost of packaging films without losing the functionality.
• Proper control over ink transfer process in flexo printing is very profitable. • Water-based primers and coatings offer a green solution in flexo printing.
• Solvent less adhesives offer a sustainable process which is also eco friendly.
• A precise control over lamination and printing operation is profitable.
• Improved film processing and precise inspection of film surface yields good results.
• Effective surface treatment produces better of adhesion of coating or printing.
• Scientific inspection of all substrates such as plastic, paper or metal can detect and eliminate many defects which reduce the performance of packaging. Waste Management
• An efficient infrastructure for collection and disposal is essential so that waste can have some value.
• Collaborative efforts across the value chain are needed for sustainable solutions.
Attendees enjoyed the 2 power packed days networking and holding B to B meetings.