Sustainability is Cosmo’s top priority, says Pankaj Poddar

During the 9th edition of Sustainability Films & Flexible Packaging summit, Pankaj Poddar, the group CEO, Cosmo Films shared his thoughts about oriented films moving towards sustainability.

10 Jan 2023 | By Abhay Avadhani

Pankaj Poddar of Cosmo Films during the ElitePlus summit

Cosmo Films is a pioneer of BOPP films in India and perhaps the world’s largest producer of thermal lamination films and the second largest in specialty label films. Recently the group diversified their business into speciality chemicals and Petcare (Zigly).

Pankaj Poddar spoke about how the barrier properties are being enhanced with the films. He mentioned Cosmo has state of the art R&D centres in Aurangabad which has ensured the spoilage of packaged food being reduced and the shelf-life being increased with the BOPP films. Today, BOPP film is produced from polypropylene which is a crude oil derivative. As per industry reports, the global BOPP demand is 8.5 million MT pa. Of which the BOPP demand in India is 600K MT pa India. 

He crunched key numbers about the ‘current global plastic scenario’. “The global plastic production is 370 million MT/year out of which 50% is single-use and the global plastic waste generation is 350 MT/year. Poddar pointed out that India generates 26,000 tonnes plastic waste daily. He said that producing one tonne plastic requires 23000 kwh energy and recycling one tonne plastic saves 6000 kwh energy. “Making new products with recycled plastic requires 66% less energy than using raw plastic materials,” he added. 

Poddar’s message was, “Promote all PP structures for snacks and confectionery and move towards standardization.” Today, there are several types of films like CPP, BOPP and BOPET. Poddar spoke about the advantages of BOPP films. The first one being; BOPP consumes less energy at film production, printing and sealing. Furthermore, the moisture barrier of BOPP makes it the most preferred substrate for packaging of food. And finally, BOPP provides appearance properties such as white opaque cavitated, silky matte and pearlised. 

Poddar spoke about how flexible packaging can be made more sustainable. He said that global initiatives by brands and converters can be a driving force. “Along with it, there are factors such as; plastic recyclability - challenges and solutions; use of BOPP based Heat Resistant and barrier films; PE structures with BOPE; compostable and bio-plastics and synthetic paper as a replacement of normal paper.” 

Cosmo’s speciality films sales have grown 18% in the last three years A quick look at the numbers indicates that the speciality film sales stand at 65% of the total revenues during FY22. Some of the key products in the Cosmo speciality film portfolio are: Cosmo synthetic paper, direct thermal printable (DTP), sustainable PVC-free solutions for signages.

Later, Poddar shared examples of sustainable films developed like white BOPP film which is specially engineered to withstand envelope sealing - typical of a soap wrapping application; recyclable OPP laminate for noodles packaging and HR BOPP films for tea and coffee packaging. 

Sustainable innovations - under development
Cosmo Films is working towards offering a variety of sustainable films. The first one being; the BOPE film for monolayer laminate applications that provides easy recyclable options; a sustainable solution of PCR based BOPP and CPP films; mono-layer packaging films; heat resistant films and barrier films without EVOH and to increase the usage of plastic recycled content into rigid and flexible packaging.

Flexible plastic packaging has energy benefits that the packaging type offers. Multi-layer flexible packaging has come under the spotlight due to its heterogeneous nature. Moving towards a circular economy, one sees the packaging industry gravitating towards mono-material laminate structures.

The group has a capex plan of Rs 940 crores. This includes specialised BOPET with the capacity of 30k MT and can notch up revenues of Rs 450 crores under full capacity utilisation.

Cosmo First has net sales of more than Rs 3000 crores (of which 40% of its revenue is through exports). The group has a total of four manufacturing facilities which includes, three plants in India and one plant in Korea.

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

 

21.05%

Inadequate infrastructure

 

10.53%

Shortage of recycling firms

 

21.05%

Lack of consumer awareness

 

47.37%

Total Votes : 19

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