Fifth edition of Paper Day celebrated on 1 August

The Federation of Paper Traders’ Association of India (FPTA), in association with Indian Paper Manufacture Association (IPMA) and Indian Pulp & Paper Technical Association (IPPTA), organised a webinar to celebrate Paper Day on 1 August. FPTA has been celebrating 1 August as Paper Day for the last five years as an occasion to highlight the importance of paper and to dispel among the masses the misconceptions regarding paper.

04 Aug 2021 | By PrintWeek Team

JP Narain of Century Pulp and Paper

This year’s event was all the more important as the last two years have been especially trying for the paper industry due to the ongoing pandemic. The paper industry was especially hit with the closure of the education institutes, which also resulted in a marked shift towards digitisation.

So, it’s time to shift focus from the traditional uses of paper to newer avenues, such as paper for packaging and paper as an alternative to plastic. Also, a lot more is happening on the regulation front which can be beneficial to the paper industry.  

In this context, JP Narain of Century Pulp and Paper spoke on the Business Responsibility and Sustainability Report (BRSR). As per the new SEBI guidelines, the new kind of reporting — Business Responsibility and Sustainability Report (BRSR) — will replace the existing Business Responsibility Report (BRR).

Narain said how apart from the regular ESG reporting protocols, the sustainability aspect also covers resource usage (energy and water), air pollutant emissions, greenhouse emissions, transitioning to a circular economy, waste generated and waste management practices.

How does it benefit the business? “The benefit is that we are moving from financial benefits to stakeholder benefits,” Narain said.

Speaking on paper replacing plastic, PN Sridharr, DGM, sustainable products and packaging, ITC, said today various regulations about the use of plastic has been promulgated and these have started putting the onus on the brand owners. Single-use plastic has been banned across the country, Also, the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) has started linking ERP commitments to a fee-based on quantity of plastic waste generated vs collected. There are also rising consumer concerns and awareness.

So, the strategy now is to shift from non-recyclable multi-layer plastic to mono-layer and replacing plastic with paper + barrier keeping the environment impact in mind.

In the context, what can paper traders do? Sridharr suggested, “Be up to date on all regulations. Understand all the critical parameters and certification. Engage with customers exploring solutions for replacing single-use plastic, and reiterate in every interaction that paper is a sustainable product and every kg of paper supports multiple livelihoods.”

Sanjay K Singh, group of head of paper and packaging, ITC, and president of IPPTA said that we need to change the perception of paper as a pollutant and instead focus on the fact that paper is sustainable and it is not harmful the environment. Even the treated water coming out of a paper mill is of better quality than the other water available. “Let’s do the right thing, which is good for the environment and people will start realising the benefits of paper,” he said.

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