Label industry seeks sustainability

At the LMAI Conference 2023 held in Jaipur on 20-22 July, a speaker said, by 2025, all packages will be sustainable. What the internet is to smartphones, sustainability will be to packaging. Industry stalwarts gathered to discuss - creativity, innovation and sustainability.

25 Jul 2023 | By Aditya Ghosalkar

Sustainability in the print environment is not just about materialisation, but also the right technology and elements which go into it

In his welcome-note, Rajesh Nema, president, LMAI, said, “Labels have the power to embrace creativity, which further spurs innovation. Inline with sustainability, the label printing landscape has changed.”

Saurabh Agarwal, vice-president and general manager, Avery Dennison, in his keynote address, stated, “Sustainability is at the centre stage. This forefront is driven by consumer preferences and government regulations. And, ESG guidelines will change the sustainable landscape. By 2030, Avery will reduce scope-3 GHG emissions by 30% from 2018 and vote for circularity.”

“Replacing QR codes wherever possible will make labels do wonders, improve track and trace along with consumer engagement,” said Agarwal. Avery also runs well-entrenched matrix and liner recycling programmes to its customers and brands, aiming to minimise waste generation in the ecosystem and facilitate the transition to a more sustainable and circular business model.

“We are committed to promoting a circular economy, and keeping this need in mind, we have successfully developed and established a footprint with our Cleanflake portfolio for recyclability of PET substrates and WashOff portfolio to enable reuse in the glass bottling industry,” added Avery Dennison's Priyanka Singla.

Flint Group shed light on its two new products in its sustainable portfolio. De-inking primer, adaptable to shrink and caustic-resistant varnish, for PSL applications. “These solutions help ink manufacturers reduce carbon footprint,” said Marc Heylen, global R&D and technical director, Flint Group.

Pawandeep Sahni, managing director, Omet India, asserted the importance of sustainability, saying that it will be the Tesla moment for industry, and the early adopters of a sustainable printing process will have the advantage.

Sahni added, “Material science is the key to disruption and leadership. For this, you need an agile solution. It’s time for label converters to step up and become a solution provider than a manufacturer.”

Umesh Kagade of HP Indigo demonstrated, in his presentation, the potential for label companies to become comprehensive packaging solution providers.

“Label converters often face the challenge of diversifying into new packaging formats, requiring significant investments in equipment and technical expertise. However, they can overcome this challenge and expand into various packaging segments with HP Indigo’s solutions,” said Kagade.

In his presentation, Ranesh Bajaj of Vinsak suggested five filters or tools towards achieving sustainable packaging transformation – elimination filter, green filter, technical filter, cost filter and change filter.

Bajaj said, “Aesthetics may be important but functionality will always score over aesthetics. Hence, functionality is always important while designing a label or a package. And, sustainability is a new dimension which has been added. All brands are now under pressure to follow sustainable practices and communicate this effectively to the consumer. This adds a more formidable challenge to the packaging development team, and this is where we help brands in achieving sustainability successfully.”

As Bajaj explained, machine manufacturers from pre- to post-press, as well as substrate and consumable providers have stepped up to offer sustainable solutions.

Hrishikesh Kulkarni, regional sales manager, Miraclon, said, “Brand expectations and market dynamics continue to influence the shift of print-packaging to flexography as the process of choice.”

He added, “Sustainability in the print environment is not just about the use of sustainable substrates or greener inks, but being able to also reduce production waste, press downtime and make-ready times, so there is greater resource utilisation and higher profitability. This will also feature strongly in the talk-track, as Miraclon believes using the right technology in the optimum way is the biggest enabler to producing sustainable print packaging.

Vinod Vazhapulli, CEO, Jindal SMI said, “The focus on sustainability and innovation in packaging materials has increased tremendously in the last few years. Brand owners are expected to be at the forefront of this transformation to more sustainable and circular packaging solutions and are expected to articulate these changes to the consumers.”

In line with these thoughts, Jindal SMI has introduced two new products. One is polyolefin base conformable PP. Polyolefin film delivers outstanding conformability and flexibility for label applications with excellent converting characteristics. It is 40% thinner compared to usual PE films which will help add value in sustainability.

The second one is PCR PP. It is made with mechanical recycling technology with the same properties as standard PP films, and these PP PCR films can cut their footprint by decreasing the amount of virgin materials used at the same time. PCR PP with 30% post-consumer recycled content consumes fewer resources, helping to keep plastic out of the waste stream.

“Both the products are available in both clear and white finishes and will add value to the sustainability. Brand owners and converters can benefit from these multi-functional labelling solutions,” Vazhapulli said.

Taking the concept of reuse further, Niraj Muni of Maxcess announced that the company’s new Mumbai facility will offer repairing services for magnetic cylinders, anvil cylinders, hydra jack, and adjustable anvils.

“You can repair and reuse the same tools instead of buying new ones, resulting in sustained use of tools and cost savings,” said Muni. “It’s imperative for label printers to save time and material wastage by maintaining their tools in perfect condition.”

Latest Poll

Which is the sustainable packaging product among MSMEs that is most popular?


Which is the sustainable packaging product among MSMEs that is most popular?

Bagasse and biodegradable boxes



Corrugated boxes



Paper bags



Recyclable plastic (bubble wraps, bio-plastic)



Total Votes : 11


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