Prabhakar Venneti highlights sustainability at PS 24

ITC's Prabhakar Venneti focussed on sustainability challenges which the world is facing today. His topic was: The paperiation of packaging - an emerging paradigm.

18 Jan 2024 | By Charmiane Alexander

Prabhakar Venneti said, on 28 July 2023, the earth saw its first Plastic Overshoot Day. This, he said, was the point at which the amount of plastics exceeds the global waste management capacity. Crunching some real numbers he said, today the global production of plastic (2022) 159 million tons; of which global plastic waste is 68.5 million tons. Venneti said, 12 countries contribute 52% and India is one among them. And India's mismanagement of plastic waste in India 7.3 million tonnes.

Then he focussed on what consumers, globally and in India prefer. In this study by Mckinsey packaging survey, paper-based cartons have a high score.

Venneti crunched some numbers for the benefit of the PS 24 delegates. He said, India's cartonboard demand is: Packaged foods will witness a 8.8% CAGR (2023-28) and 6.4 incremental demand till 2028 (lakh TPA). Likewise the pharma segment 8.4% CAGR (2023-28) and 5.5 incremental demand till 2028 (lakh TPA). While personal care will witness a 10.2% CAGR (2023-28) and 1.8 incremental demand till 2028 (lakh TPA). Today India's virginboard production is 25% and share of recycled in cartonboard production is 75%.

Venneti shared some tangible examples with OGR / liquid barrier replacing single-use plastic disposables in the F&B segment, such as cups, plates, trays, tubs & bowls as well as anti-fungal boards for the personal care segment. Also, he shared an example of flexible paper which can replace flexible plastic in packaging applications. This flexible paper has good barrier properties. Similarly he shared the example of a rigid board that can replace rigid plastic and foam boards for POP/POSM that are deployed for indoor branding. Finally, he shared moulded fibre packaging examples which are ideal for complex shapes in the packaging or disposables segment and possess OGR properties for the F&B segment.

While speaking exclusively to PrintWeek and WhatPackaging? magazines, Venneti said, "We have been able to leverage our R&D capabilities to launch several paper-based alternatives to single-use plastic. Our Filo series of sustainable paperboards has gained significant traction in the Packaging Industry, both in India and abroad." He added, "Under the Filo series, we currently have FiloBev, FiloPack, FiloServe and FiloTub, which are ideal replacements to single-use plastic and LDPE-coated packaging/disposables in the F&B industry. We further plan to expand this portfolio by deepening product development to target newer applications, including the personal care segment as well." Apart from Filo, ITC has recently launched Sign-Up Green which is a virgin solid board that can replace rigid plastics/plastic foam boards in the indoor branding space (POP/POSM materials).

PrintWeek readers will recall that ITC has quite a few aces up its green sleeves. First-to-market with extensive product range for single-use plastic substitution; also the first paper company in India to obtain the FSCFM Certification Unit Kovai; the second facility in the world and the first in India to be awarded the AWS Certification; and Unit Bhadrachalam & Kovai are CII GreenCo Platinum Plus certified.

Venneti summed up his PS 24 presentation with a quote by Sanjiv Puri, chairman and MD of ITC Ltd which said, "The enormous environmental and social challenges make it evident that progress cannot take place unless we redefine our strategies for growth and competitiveness to make sustainability and inclusivity the core of business transformation."