Flexible Packaging is Not The Villain

The National Green Tribunal recently took the view to curbing plastic packaging since it was potentially hazardous to the environment, according to the tribunal. At the end of the stick, are all “multi-layered/plastic packaging” and PET bottles, which covers nearly every item of daily use, other than those that come in tins and glass bottles. Uflex Ltd., India’s largest flexible packaging manufacturer in its petition to the Tribunal has refuted charges of flexible packaging being a threat to the environment or health.

The Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) listed plastic under ‘Green category’ due to its least polluting nature as it is recyclable and safer than aluminum, glass & paper that are more hazardous to the environment.

Advantages of flexible packaging

Flexible packaging has made lives easier for on-the-go consumers with its high standard of functionality and sustainability. This factor is what has helped stoke the flexible packaging industry all over the globe. In the Indian context, the flexible packaging industry has proven its mettle by growing at an exceptional pace. The industry has registered a growth of 18%-20%.

The innovative structural design has been the cause of this benefit. Pouch packaging gives the liberty to mould it into unique sizes and shapes, is functional and convenient. The usage of flexible packaging is vast and versatile, unlike other packaging formats that cater to a limited set of products or a niche segment. No wonder that this form of packaging is recognized as the most useful packaging format in today’s age.

Flexible packaging has the advantage of using pouches of the same style to store different items. A basic pouch can be used for storage of food and beverage. The pouch can be customized to store liquids by adding a spout to it. The addition of a zipper will make the pouch more convenient to store and restore dry items.

A good flexible package is equipped with features such as:

•   Increased barrier protection

•   Preventing substances that can lead to spoilage

•  Detection of spoilage

•   Recyclable

•   Cost effective

•   Suitable for contact with food

•   Have high standard of health, safety and sustainability

•   Customized into practically any shape or size

 

Protection from contamination and deterioration throughout its shelf life is also an integral part of good flexible packaging. Temperature variations in packed food can result in compromising its safety and quality. Driven by rapid advancements in time-temperature indicators (TTI), intelligent packaging is anticipated to witness a strong growth. This system could be able to detect food contamination and change of color in case the food is not fit for consumption by the consumer.

In terms of benefits to the manufacturer this form of packaging offers a variety of exciting marketing opportunities to the producer without increasing the cost of production. The packaging can be tailored to suit the merchandising requirements.

Sustainability:

Uflex Ltd. is aware that the consumer today has become extremely aware of the global environmental issues. As a result, they are consciously changing their purchasing habits to packages which are green. Sustainable packaging has in fact led to an increase in the demand for flexible plastic packaging as they are lighter, economical, convenient and can be modified into the choice of shape and resealability. Using of lightweight packaging, companies can actually reduce the amount of fuel used and emission of greenhouse gases.

In a comparison done between plastic cling wrap and aluminum foil for sustainability factors, the cling wrap won hands down. It was found that aluminum has a heavy manufacturing footprint compared to the cling wrap. Also aluminum foil is a lot heavier than cling wrap: Foil typically clocks in at about 3.8 grams per square foot; cling wrap, just 1.7 grams. The foil lost in all departments like fossil fuel consumption, greenhouse gas emissions, human health impacts and aquatic toxicity.

Hence, flexible packaging makes less use of resources and materials making it a sustainable packaging solution. There is less wastage and less use of energy and water at the manufacturing level.

Bioplastics have been playing an integral role in sustainability drive over the past couple of years and these materials will be more and more commonly available as we further head into the new millennium. The global production of bioplastics is tipped to increase from 1.2 million tonnes in 2011 to 5.8 million tonnes by 2016.

Flexible packaging also helps reduce wastage of food from 3% to 1% by increasing the shelf life according to the Industry Council for Research and Packaging on the Environment (INCPEN).

 

Conclusion:

Uflex Ltd. is not in favor of banning of plastic products. We believe this will greatly inconvenience the manufacturer and the consumer alike. Rather, the need of the hour is to have more recycling plants. The Central and State Governments should allot land for waste management.

Uflex has always been committed towards sustainable options of flexible packaging. Being on the edge of innovation we provide packaging that keeps the products safe, fresh and devoid of any harmful reactions. With our constant R&D for safer and environment friendly packaging, we are dedicated to bringing safer, better and sustainable packaging solutions.

Our Green pet and rPET techniques ensure that the plastic is manufactured in an environment friendly manner without compromising on the quality of the product. Uflex has identified 4 areas of sustainability, and they are:

-Energy conservation

-Reduction in carbon based resources

-waste minimization

- recycling

To know more about our sustainability initiatives please follow this link:

http://www.uflexltd-packaging.com/csr/sustainability-initiatives/

Role of Plastics in Minimizing Food Wastage

In the Global Hunger Index 2014, India ranked at 55th position among 76 emerging economies. It trails behind countries like Thailand, China, Ghana, Sri Lanka, Iraq and Nepal. What is even more worrying is that a third of world’s undernourished children are in India. Despite that, a UNDP report states that upto 40% of the food produced in India is wasted. According to the agriculture ministry, food worth Rs. 50,000 crore is wasted every year in the country.Role of plastics in minimizing food wastage

 

Wastage of food is not only suggestive of hunger but also of economic problems such as inflation. In this blog we will discuss how flexible packaging can help in reduction of food wastage. First let us list out some of the reasons leading to food wastage in the food supply chain:

  • Agricultural stage: damage from pests and disease; unpredictable weather conditions; not meeting quality specifications
  • Post-harvest handling and storage: not meeting specifications for quality and/or appearance; pest damage; spillage and degradation; lack of proper storage facilities
  • Processing and packaging: trimmings and other food preparation waste; production line start up; batch mistakes; inadequate remaining shelf life
  • Distribution: damage in transit/storage due to packaging failures; product spoilage; fresh produce not meeting specifications or damaged during handling; inadequate remaining shelf life due to poor stock rotation or low sales
  • Food service: trimmings and other food preparation waste; poor inventory management (e.g. over-ordering); improper food handling; confusion over expiry date; plate leftovers
  • End consumer: trimmings and other food preparation waste; food spoilage; preparing too much food; past expiry date; plate leftovers.

 

The flexible packaging industry has the ability to be a part of the solution since it is adept at offering packaging in different sizes; innovations that help extend the shelf life of the product and keep it safe and also sustainability of the package.

Over the last few years, innovations in terms of product development like absorbing food odours, retard oxygen migration, and preserve food longer, has been driving flexible packaging. Flexible packaging engineers have incorporated new materials into the films which lead to a longer shelf life and improved quality. Other than that this form of packaging acts as a barrier against moisture, microbes, change in temperatures, dirt etc thereby greatly extending the shelf life of food and check spoilage, leading to less food waste.

To ensure safety of the packaged product an ideal flexible package should consist of the following features:

  • Increased barrier protection
  • Preventing substances which can lead to spoilage
  • Detection of spoilage
  • Recyclable
  • Cost effective
  • Suitable for contact with food
  • Have high standard of health, safety and sustainability

Flexible packaging helps reduce wastage of food from 3% to 1% by increasing the shelf life according to the Industry Council for Research and Packaging on the Environment (INCPEN). Products like vegetables, dairy have a longer shelf life thanks to smart packaging. Innovative packaging designs for milk pouches are making the transportation of milk without refrigeration possible.

Temperature variations in packed food can result in compromising its safety and quality. Driven by rapid advancements in time-temperature indicators (TTI), intelligent packaging is anticipated to witness a strong growth. This system could be able to detect food contamination and change of color incase the food is not fit for consumption by the consumer.Another innovationwhich can assist in cutting short the wastage of food is Aseptic packaging. This technology helps sterilize the package and the food product separately and then combine and seal it under a sterilize environment. This trend is fast picking up and is expected to lead in the coming years. Currently the Aseptic packaging market is at $35.8 billion and is expected to continue the upward spiral due to the consumers demanding chemical- free, natural and fresh food and beverages.

By extending the lifecycle of food and protecting it against foreign elements, smart packaging can ensure that the consumed products are safe and nutritious and hence help in improving the sustainability of the food item.

Uflex Ltd. believes that flexible packaging is an investment in protection of food and the resources that are used to produce it. Uflex manufactures plastic materials like BOPET, BOPP and Laminates which have high growth owing to their barrier properties. Barrier flexible packaging has seen a continuous growth as major manufacturers demand packaging that will ensure longer shelf life and greater protection for their produce.

UFLEX Ltd Q3 FY2014-15 Consolidated Net Revenue at Rs.1530 crore; and Net Profit at Rs. 57 Crore

uflexltd-packaging

Uflex Ltd, the Bombay Stock Exchange (UFLEX: 500148) and NSE listed, India’s largest flexible packaging company has registered the Consolidated net revenue for the December quarter of F.Y. 2015 of Rs. 1530 crore as against Rs. 1474 crore for the same period last year, up 4%. The consolidated net profit for the quarter ended December 31, 2014 has been higher at Rs. 57 crore as against Rs. 53 crore for the same period last year up by 8%.

For the nine months period ended 31st December, 2014, Uflex recorded a consolidated net revenue of Rs. 4719 crore as against Rs. 4388 crore for the same period last year up by 8% and the consolidated net profit of Rs. 186 crore as against Rs. 142 crore for the same period last year up by 31%.

Expansion Plans

UFLEX’s agenda of global expansion and consolidation of its position as a truly Indian MNC (Multinational Corporation) is reinforced with its strategy of capacity expansion and adding manufacturing lines for various product categories across existing and newer locations to increase proximity to the markets, but also to bring broad portfolio of value added products to its clients at competitive price points. In order to achieve this, company would be focused to make need based investments in future.

Uflex’s strong manufacturing base in India, Mexico, Dubai, Egypt, Poland and USA caters to global markets spanning USA, Canada, South America, UK, Europe, Russia, CIS countries, South Africa and other African countries, the Middle East and the South Asian Countries.

The company offers its flexible packaging products and solutions globally to clients including Unilever, Pepsi, Wrigley, Procter & Gamble, Colgate, Palmolive, Nestle, Gillette, Ranbaxy, Perfetti, Joyco, Monsanto, ITC, Godrej Pillsbury, Tata Tea, Hindustan Petroleum, Indian Oil, Britannia, Dabur, Haldiram, Wockhardt, HUL, Parle Biscuit, Birla 3M, among others.

IMPROVISING FLEXIBLE PACKAGING—INNOVATIONS AND ADVANCEMENTS IN EXISTING PRODUCTS

Flexible packaging has made lives easier for on-the go consumers with its high standard of functionality and sustainability. This factor is what has helped stoke the flexible packaging industry all over the globe. Today, an abundance of pouches can be found in super marts, grocery stores, shopping aisles etc.

Innovative structural design has been the cause of this benefit. Pouch packaging gives the liberty to mould it into unique sizes and shapes, is functional and convenient. Considering the popularity, flexible packaging manufacturers are regularly brainstorming in order to find new applications and to cater to a growing customer base. Unlike other packaging formats that cater to a limited set of products or to a niche segment the usage of flexible packaging is vast and versatile. No wonder, that this form of packaging has been recognized as the most useful packaging format in today’s age.

With plastic packaging being accepted in nearly every product segment, its important that the flexible packaging manufacturers device innovative and improvised packages to attract the brand owners and consumers. Some of the recent innovations and advancements that the packaging industry has seen are:

  • Co extrusion- It allows the manufacturer to prepare a multi functional packaging material in one manufacturing process as compared to traditional method of lamination and coating. Co extrusion method helps the plastic manufacturer lower the production cost involved in traditional lamination.
  • In-mold labeling- Technologies like bioplastics and nanoparticle layered plastic packaging are also slowly gaining ground owing to the increased awareness on sustainability. The Indian packaging sector has witnessed a fast growing inclination towards flexible packaging over other traditional forms owing to the light weight and functionality of plastic.
  • Modified Atmosphere Packaging (MAP) – This technology helps the packaged food with increased shelf‐life of minimally‐processed foods. By modifying the internal environment of the package, the natural deterioration of the product is slowed down—preserving its fresh state for a longer period of time.
  • Another factor propelling the growth of the stand-up pouch as opposed to the metal can is the Aseptic packaging. This technology helps sterilize the package and the food product separately and then combine and seal it under a sterilize environment. This trend is fast picking up and is expected to lead in the coming year
  • Temperature variations in packed food can result in compromising its safety and quality. Driven by rapid advancements in time-temperature indicators (TTI), intelligent packaging is anticipated to witness a strong growth. This system could be able to detect food contamination and change of color incase the food is not fit for consumption by the consumer. Uflex Ltd is striving to provide smart, intelligent packaging solutions to the consumers with state of the art packaging and converting machines.
  • Rotogravure printing is the latest in printing technique. Manufacturers can get vibrant and clear logos and designs through this technique. Flexible packaging, being relatively new, combines very well with rotogravure printing.

Globally, the use of pouches for snacks grew by 7% in the year 2012-13. Pouches for sauces, juices registered a growth of 20% in the same duration. Other categories like baby food, side dishes grew by 102% and 58% respectively in the same period. Pouch packaging also saw a 32% growth in the pet food segment in the duration 2009-13.

The Indian flexible market which was worth Rs. 14,000 crores in 2011 is expected to reach Rs. 22,950 crores in 2015.  As the numbers indicate, flexible packaging is attracting companies and consumers alike. Factors like cost effectiveness, sustainability, convenience etc all add to its value proposition. For this reason, flexible packaging will continue its growth over other types of packaging.

Uflex Ltd., India’s largest flexible packaging company has contributed greatly in both domestic and international food packaging market with its innovative and world class flexible packaging solutions, a variety of value added flexible packaging material and sophisticated products. The company believes that the greatest improvement in the packaging industry is the flexible packaging and strives to provide smart, intelligent packaging solutions to the consumers with state of the art packaging and converting machines. In this regard Uflex Ltd., is privileged to contribute to society by producing a variety of value added flexible packaging material, sophisticated products including films like BOPET, BOPP and CPP; state-of-the-art packaging and converting machines and rotogravure cylinders, thereby providing world class flexible packaging solutions to its customers.

UFLEX Ltd Q2 FY2014-15 Consolidated Net Revenue at Rs. 1671crore; and Net Profit at Rs. 65 Crore

Uflex Ltd, the Bombay Stock Exchange (UFLEX: 500148) and NSE listed, India’s largest flexible packaging company has registered the Consolidated net revenue for the September quarter of F.Y. 2015 of Rs. 1671 crore as against Rs. 1516 crore for the same period last year, up 10%. The consolidated net profit for the quarter ended September 30, 2014 has been higher at Rs. 65 crore as against Rs. 46 crore for the same period last year up by 41%.

The increase in revenue is attributed to increased uptakeon innovative flexible packaging solutions provided by the company across sectors globally.

According to Mr. Ashok Chaturvedi, Chairman and M.D. of UFLEXLtd, “We are committed to innovations and creatingnew trends thanks to the breakthroughs in Polymers research and raw material enhancements. With our ability to delight our customers with the latest packaging material, technology and a wide array of products, we have strong relationships with all our customers. This commitment has reflected in our sustained growth over the years.”

Expansion Plans

UFLEX’s agenda of global expansion and consolidation of its position as a truly Indian MNC (Multinational Corporation) is reinforced with its strategy of capacity expansion and adding manufacturing lines for various product categories across existing and newer locations to increase proximity to the markets, but also to bring broad portfolio of value added products to its clients at competitive price points. Accordingly, the Company has been working on its expansion plans and proposeto invest around Rs. 1800 crore (USD 300 Mln.) in next 3 years to achieve its growth plans in future.

Uflex’s strong manufacturing base in India, Mexico, Dubai, Egypt, Poland and USA caters to global markets spanning USA, Canada, South America, UK, Europe, Russia, CIS countries, South Africa and other African countries, the Middle East and the South Asian Countries.

The company offers its flexible packaging products and solutions globally to clients including Unilever, Pepsi, Wrigley, Procter & Gamble, Colgate, Palmolive, Nestle, Gillette, Ranbaxy, Perfetti, Joyco, Monsanto, ITC, Godrej Pillsbury, Tata Tea, Hindustan Petroleum, Indian Oil, Britannia, Dabur, Haldiram, Wockhardt, HUL, Parle Biscuit, Birla 3M, among others.

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