According to the report titled ‘Plastic packaging: The sustainable choice’, the Indian packaging industry, which is valued at over USD 32 billion in FY15 after growing at a CAGR of 16% in the last five years, offers employment to more than 10 lakh people across the country through 10,000 firms.
The FICCI-TSMG report attributed the potential growth to organised retail and boom in e-commerce, which will drive the packaging sector. “However, there are quite a few challenges and risks. High inflation rate and rising prices, lack of skilled workforce, difficulty in procuring raw material due to weak infrastructure, growing environmental concern, effective recycling of mixed plastic waste and plastic recovery are some of the issues plaguing the industry,” highlighted the report.
The Indian packaging industry constitutes 4% of the USD 700 billion worth global packaging industry. The per capita packaging consumption in India is low at 4.3 kg, compared to developed countries like Germany and Taiwan where it is 42 kg and 19 kg respectively. However in the coming years, the Indian packaging industry is expected to grow at 18% per annum, wherein, flexible packaging is expected to grow at 25% per annum and rigid packaging to grow at 15% per annum.
The report said, “The growth will primarily be driven by end-user segments such as personal care, pharmaceuticals, food products etc. In the upcoming years of the packaging industry, there will be an increasing shift towards flexible packaging and in terms of material used for packaging, polymers would account for a majority of the share in packaging.”
Today, plastics are the material of choice in packaging for the sectors such as FMCG, food and beverages, pharmaceuticals etc. “As plastics possess versatile properties it can help us do more with less. One such property is light weight. As plastics are light in weight, they have a high product to package ratio which results in a lighter end product. For example, only 1.5 pounds of flexible plastics can deliver approximately 60 pounds of beverage; compared to three pounds of aluminium or 50 pounds of glass,” said the FICCI-TSMG report.