Squaring the circle of responsible packaging

Innovation leads to smart packaging

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Barun Banerjee of Nestle, Mudit Lawania, Vinay Nalawade of Parakh Flexipack, Leeladhar Poojary of Colgate, Himanshi Mahajan of Mother Dairy and Kriti Soni of Dabur during the brand owners' panel discussion. Photo IPP
Barun Banerjee of Nestle, Mudit Lawania, Vinay Nalawade of Parakh Flexipack, Leeladhar Poojary of Colgate, Himanshi Mahajan of Mother Dairy and Kriti Soni of Dabur during the brand owners' panel discussion. Photo IPP

The PDIT2 Conference, organized by IppStar and Messe Dusseldorf India on 13 December 2019, concluded with good spirit on the evening of a generally rainy and overcast day at Pragati Maidan, Delhi. Over 120 industry professionals took part, including 30 brand owners.

The conference began with a warm welcome by Deepak Manchanda, who introduced the theme of the conference – Squaring the Circle of Responsible Packaging. The keynote sessions were delivered jointly by Cheryl Harrison, chairman, Vivia Foundation, and director of marketing, Propack, and Andrew Manly, communications director of AIPIA, who made a brief presentation introducing smart packaging. AIPIA and some of its key members such as Toppan, Kezzler, and NXP were key content supporters of the PDIT2 conference.

The brand-owner panel discussion, ‘Emerging role of modern packaging for competitiveness, convenience, and extended producer responsibility,’ was chaired by Barun Banerjee of Nestle. Leeladhar Poojary of Colgate, Vinay Nalawade of Parakh Agro, Himanshi Mahajan of Mother Dairy, and Kriti Soni of Dabur addressed EPR, responsible packaging, and the touchpoints for making these happen. There was insightful agreement on the various constraints and compelling needs for both sustainability and brand impact. An interesting cooperative solution was also suggested.

Andrew Manly of AIPIA, Roland Lartigue of Toppan Europe, Amit Banga of SB Packaging, Prasanna Sukhi of Kezzler India, N Siva Shankar of Uflex and Rohit Singhal of NXP. Photo IPP
Andrew Manly of AIPIA, Roland Lartigue of Toppan Europe, Amit Banga of SB Packaging, Prasanna Sukhi of Kezzler India, N Siva Shankar of Uflex and Rohit Singhal of NXP. Photo IPP

Nidhi Agarwal of Marico presented a detailed update on the FSSAI food safety compliances and packaging and labeling guidelines. S Chidambar, a senior packaging professional, emphasized the need for the industry to jointly face the mammoth issue of plastic use and its integration in the circular economy. His primary point is that plastic is used by industries that produce goods of far higher value than US$ 1.5 trillion, and the collective resources of these consumer product industries should be leveraged rather than fragmented and inadequately measly efforts at recycling. “The significant depletion of resources cannot be replenished since we are running out of them. We cannot throw away the tremendous energy and value that is invested in consumer products their packaging only to put them into landfills that generate methane,” he said.

Vineet Pradhanani of Encept with Naresh Khanna of IppStar. Photo IPP
Vineet Pradhanani of Encept with Naresh Khanna of IppStar. Photo IPP

The conference proceeded to its design, innovation, and active and intelligent packaging sessions. The AIPIA session moderated by Andrew Manly included presentations by Roland Lartigue of Toppan, Prasanna Sukhi of Kezzler India, and Rohit Singhal of NXP. The session recognizing the EPR initiatives for packaging waste management contained presentations by Shubhi Sachan and Rakesh Kumar of Recykal. Their presentations outlined what is being done to recycle flexible packaging laminates. It was quite interesting to have on the same platform, a provider of plastic waste, and a customer looking for plastic waste to recycle in its plant.

2023 promises an interesting ride for print in India

Indian Printer and Publisher founded in 1979 is the oldest B2B trade publication in the multi-platform and multi-channel IPPGroup. While the print and packaging industries have been resilient in the past 33 months since the pandemic lockdown of 25 March 2020, the commercial printing and newspaper industries have yet to recover their pre-Covid trajectory.

The fragmented commercial printing industry faces substantial challenges as does the newspaper industry. While digital short-run printing and the signage industry seem to be recovering a bit faster, ultimately their growth will also be moderated by the progress of the overall economy. On the other hand book printing exports are doing well but they too face several supply-chain and logistics challenges.

The price of publication papers including newsprint has been high in the past year while availability is diminished by several mills shutting down their publication paper and newsprint machines in the past four years. Indian paper mills are also exporting many types of paper and have raised prices for Indian printers. To some extent, this has helped in the recovery of the digital printing industry with its on-demand short-run and low-wastage paradigm.

Ultimately digital print and other digital channels will help print grow in a country where we are still far behind in our paper and print consumption and where digital is a leapfrog technology that will only increase the demand for print in the foreseeable future. For instance, there is no alternative to a rise in textbook consumption but this segment will only reach normality in the next financial year beginning on 1 April 2023.

Thus while the new normal is a moving target and many commercial printers look to diversification, we believe that our target audiences may shift and change. Like them, we will also have to adapt with agility to keep up with their business and technical information needs.

Our 2023 media kit is ready, and it is the right time to take stock and reconnect with your potential markets and customers. Print is the glue for the growth of liberal education, new industry, and an emerging economy. We seek your participation in what promises to be an interesting ride.

– Naresh Khanna

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