ITC scales up its sustainable packaging offerings

On World Environment Day on 5 June, ITC reaffirmed its commitment to address the issue of plastic waste management through its multi-dimensional initiatives. Powered by its Sustainability 2.0 vision articulated by chairman and MD, Sanjiv Puri, the company has been scaling up its investment in developing innovative and eco-friendly packaging solutions that can substitute single-use plastics.

06 Jun 2023 | By Rahul Kumar

ITC is working towards ensuring that 100% of packaging is reusable, recyclable or compostable/biodegradable

ITC sustained its plastic neutrality status for the second consecutive year by sustainably managing 60,000-mt of plastic waste in FY23, which is more than the amount of packaging utilised.

B Sumant, executive director, ITC, said, “At ITC, we have put in place comprehensive interventions for waste management with a focus on plastics. Our paperboards, paper and packaging businesses continue to pioneer sustainable packaging solutions that can substitute single-use plastics. Many of our brands and businesses have also innovated to reduce the usage of plastics in line with our commitment to creating a positive environmental footprint.”

ITC's paperboards, paper and packaging businesses are at the forefront of innovation in packaging solutions which substitute the use of single-use plastics. The company has pioneered sustainable packaging options through extensive research conducted at its Life Sciences and Technology Centre on laminated and moulded fibre platforms, among others. It has developed a range of eco-friendly products, including recyclable paperboards named FiloPack and FiloServe, as well as two biodegradable paperboards, OmegaBev and OmegaBarr. 

These paperboards provide effective alternatives to plastic-coated containers and cups used in deep freeze applications. Addressing the issue of plastic food containers for delivery, the paperboards business has introduced the IndoBowl, a paperboard-based product that replaces traditional plastic containers. 

Additionally, it has developed high-strength, multi-layered paper products as a substitute for single-use plastic cutlery and the WrapWell food wrapping paper that is designed to be food-grade, eco-friendly, oil and grease resistant, and microwave-safe.

ITC’s Packaging business spans both fibre-based and plastic laminate offerings. The business is accelerating the development of recyclable laminates with reduced plastic usage, which are more circular by design. The business is working on next-generation coatings and new laminate structures and has launched innovative products like bio-seal, germ-free for tea envelopes, and QSR segments, which offer sustainability-driven alternatives in the cartons and flexible packaging market. 

The business has won three prestigious World Packaging Organisation awards (WPO) selected by an international jury, for developing sustainable packaging for beverages and Ice-cream segments.

The company has extended its sustainable packaging initiatives to its own personal care products as well significantly. Several of ITC’s personal care brands are progressively adopting recyclable options. For instance, Fiama Shower Gel bottles now incorporate 50% post-consumer recycled material, while Savlon Glycerine Soap Wrapper utilises 70% post-consumer recycled plastic in its PET layer. In the case of Engage Perfume and Cologne bottles, the brand has shifted to 100% paper-based recyclable cartons.

ITC's Foods business has implemented various measures to reduce the usage of plastics. 

Aashirvaad Organic Whole Wheat Atta has introduced a 1-kg pack in a paper-based bag, reducing plastic usage by 25% through the use of special paper developed by ITC. 

Sunfeast Yippee! Power Up Noodles transitioned to 100% mono-material PP laminate for both the outer pack and inner sachet, replacing multi-layered PET/PE laminate, reducing plastic usage. Notably, Sunfeast Yippee! Noodles also actively engage with the community, educating over 30 lakh school children about plastic waste recycling. The brand also encourages children to collect and return plastic wrappers, this has enabled a collection of over 10 lakh Yippee! Noodles wrappers. 

ITC MasterChef Frozen Snacks has transitioned to 100% mono-material PE laminate for select variants, replacing multi-layered PET/PE laminate packaging. B Natural Juices uses 25% recycled content shrink wrap in secondary packaging, promoting the use of recycled material.

ITC’s Hotels Business has replaced plastic water bottles with eco-friendly glass bottles. Furthermore, plastic drinking straws, stirrers, and other plastic items have been substituted with paper and wood-based alternatives, contributing to the reduction of plastic pollution.

ITC is working towards ensuring that 100% of packaging is reusable, recyclable or compostable/biodegradable.

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