Keynote session at ElitePlus talks the sustainable talk

Session one on day one of the 10th Speciality Films & Flexible Packaging Global Summit 2023 at the Reliance Jio World Convention Centre in Mumbai, covered key aspects of the flexible packaging industry.

31 Aug 2023 | By Abhay Avadhani

Harsh Mariwala spoke about how Marico's blue plastic bottle Parachute is a tale of how powerful packaging can be. Many more insights about this his book Harsh Realities

The proceedings began with Nidhi Verma, founder and managing director of ElitePlus highlighting how India's flexible packaging market is poised to grow. And how the conference attended by almost 2,000 delegates presents an opportune moment for producers, traders, converters, and end-users to engage in India's packaging landscape.

The session one for the day saw Nilesh Shah group president and MD, Kotak Mahindra Asset Management highlight India's growth story since 2014. He pointed out how India has doubled its infrastructure prowess in the past decade as compared to the previous 67 years.

Nilesh Shah's talk was followed by Prabh Das managing director and CEO HPCL-Mittal Energy, who said, "There is a huge public perception about how plastic is bad. But plastic is not bad, the waste disposal system is poor." He added, "The collection system has enabled collation of PET bottles, now the Indian plastic industry has to ensure MLF is collected in a similar way." Das said, "Waste disposal holds the key to the future."

At the inaugural session, the elite group of speakers spoke about practical solutions for plastic waste management

Prabha Narasimhan, the managing director and CEO, Colgate-Palmolive India, highlighted the current trends in the FMCG sector and impacts on packaging. Today, Colgate is the single-largest penetration brand in India. 9/10 homes have a Colgate product in their homes. Prabha Narasimhan outlines her expectations about packaging implications and what type of PACS (protect product, aesthetic, cost-effective, sustainable) philosophy. She threw a challenge to the almost 2,000 delegates in the audience when she said "Packaging has not really evolved."

After which, Ashok Chaturvedi, founder, chairman, and managing director of UFlex Group emphasised, once upon a time, the packaging mantra was "if you want to save the planet, use plastic" because you will not cut a tree, metal is expensive, glass is not feasible. And in 2023, Chaturvedi pointed out, the conversation has shifted on how to cut the use of plastics. He felt this anti-plastic mindset had to change.

Chaturvedi added that recycling of multilayer is no more a challenge; the challenge is collection. He exhorted the audience to use multilayer plastic which is biodegradable. He spoke about how Uflex made aseptic carton recycling efficient. The key, he said, is to reshape packaging, and setting eco benchmarks.

Talking about plastics, Harsh Mariwala, founder and chairman, Marico said that plastics has played a huge part in his life and the company's. Today, Marico manufactures billions of blue packs of Parachute oil every year. Marico's market share was 15% when it was packed in metal. When the company adapted plastic for its packaging, the market share grew to 50%.  The results: Profits rose from Rs 0.7 cr in 1985 to Rs 45 cr in 1990. Also brand recall and outreach for Parachute's blue plastic bottle grew. Also there was TAM unlock; what with bottles sold in < 500 ml ranges (lower chance of counterfeit and more use-cases).

Tags : ElitePlus
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