The IFCA Star Awards 2023 saw the presence of hundreds of stalwarts from the packaging fraternity at the MCA Club in Mumbai. On the occasion, IFCA launched its magazine plus Chandrasekhar Rajagopalan, president of IFCA (Indian Flexible Packaging & Folding Cartons Manufacturer Association). Excerpts from the speech.
Chandrasekhar Rajagopalan, president of IFCA traced the "Journey of 11 years of the IFCA Star Awards" which he said has been a memorable one. He said, "We have come a long way from where we started and I can assure you that we will become bigger, better and make this a truly iconic award for the packaging and carton industry in the years to come. Year on year, we have been seeing more interest and strong competition for participation. The scoring difference between the winning entries and the rest are getting narrower, giving a strong indication about the innovation and improvement quotient in our industry."
Chandrasekhar Rajagopalan highlighted the important activities conducted by IFCA in the past 12 months. In March 2023, IFCA was invited by the Indo Italian Chamber of Commerce to talk about the Future of Packaging in India. In August and September, IFCA participated in two exhibitions Propak India and PackEx.
Chandrasekhar Rajagopalan said, "We had to take up the issues relating to EPR registration for a host of plastic converters in Tamil Nadu. In June 2023, we once again made a representation to the Ministry of Environment and Forests for better clarification about Plastic Waste Management Rules." Also he added, IFCA has been active in BIS with the help of Atin Choudhary. He added, "In the ISO conference 2023, IFCA through Choudhary was the only person to represent India's national standard body BIS in ISO for adhesives. There was a lot of interest when they came to know that India was working on a new standard on food packaging adhesive." The net result: the committee has minuted a resolution that India will present the new standard or scope of the standard in the next 2024 ISO.
Today, IFCA is the convener of the Adhesive Committee in BIS which deals with all types of adhesive for defence, railway, shoes, textiles, pressure sensitive adhesive etc. Also, the IFCA is a part of the special panel formed to create a good packaging adhesive standard which will be adopted by FSSAI.
He mentioned, "With prodding from IFCA, the IS 14534 recycling standard was adopted. The R-Pet standard was accepted for food contact application; and as a convener of IS 9845, the global migration standard for food contact packaging material has been included in the FSSAI regulations."
Chandrasekhar Rajagopalan stated, "We would like to build a community of technical persons who can from time to time share thoughts and inputs with IFCA so as to represent the industry's interest in a better way."
IFCA Chairman, Suresh Gupta: To innovate, companies must adopt a top-down approach
After the president's address, Suresh Gupta, chairman of IFCA spoke about recent trends in packaging. He mentioned, "All packaging companies (converters and manufacturers) must adopt a top-down approach, and continue to innovate.” Gupta shared examples about how the industry in India needs focus in the integration of sustainability and eco-friendly practices into mainstream packaging processes.