Rashi Agrawal of Banyan Nation highlights boost to packaging

Banyan Nation’s chief business officer, Rashi Agrawal, talks about the opportunities and challenges set to shape India's packaging industry in 2024

12 Feb 2024 | By Disha Chakraborty

“The industry needs a mindset shift to accept circular resins as the norm”

Growth and projections in the Indian packaging market

In 2024, the packaging industry in India may be at the cusp of transformative change, driven by an urgent global need for climate action, and India’s commitment to be at the forefront of it. This will be the seminal year for the plastic recycling industry in India. This will be the year where we find out if circular polymers will flourish or fail at creating a seismic shift in the way the packaging industry works.

Government initiatives

The packaging industry in India has flourished over the last few decades. Driven by an ever-growing demand for packaged goods, and dynamically changing consumer preferences, the industry has invested in innovative formats and large-scale capacities. 

The Indian consumer is now more aware of climate change and sustainability and asking for more sustainable products. This demand coupled with government policies favouring sustainable packaging and manufacturing has made a strong case for circular polymers. However, the packaging industry needs to do four main things in 2024 to respond to this trend.

Introduction of EPR regulations and policies

The industry needs a mindset shift to accept circular resins as the norm. This requires a firm resolve to accept these materials in mainstream packaging. The packaging industry will have to move away from the thought process that recycled materials are a ‘cost-hedge’ and are inferior. The industry needs to accept that they are a sustainable alternative to virgin plastics, and that high-quality circular resins come at a cost.

Secondly, packaging manufacturers need to invest in human capital to smoothen the adoption of circular resins. It requires working with manufacturers of these resins to understand the properties of these materials, the limitations of these materials and the benefits of using circular polymers. It will also involve investing in hiring in-house recycled polymer experts who can guide the production teams on onboarding and adoption.

Thirdly, there may be certain small (or perhaps large) capital expenditures required to adapt existing machinery and infrastructure to using circular resins at scale.  This may include investments in silos, mixers, ventilation systems, multi-layered moulding machines, and other investments. These investments will yield significant strategic advantages to the manufacturers who have the progressive outlook to undertake these changes.

Packaging industry outlook in 2024

Most importantly, the industry will need to invest in systems to ensure trust and transparency in the process to inspire confidence in customers that materials are traceable, mass-balanced to guarantee recycled content, and manufactured in sustainable conditions. The industry needs to commit to allaying the concerns of both brand owners and end customers over the use of safe and responsibly manufactured circular resins.

Packaging manufacturers that see the promise that circular resins bring, and respond to this call to action will carry the packaging and plastics industry into the future.

Latest Poll

The packaging industry is confused by recycling and sustainability rules in India. What is the biggest challenge?

Results

The packaging industry is confused by recycling and sustainability rules in India. What is the biggest challenge?

Shortcomings in EPR policy

 

22.22%

Inadequate infrastructure

 

11.11%

Shortage of recycling firms

 

16.67%

Lack of consumer awareness

 

50.0%

Total Votes : 18

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