The 8th Speciality Films & Flexible Packaging Global Summit 2019 concluded on a very successful note with more than 1,400 delegates from India and abroad attending the two-day event. This year saw the highest number of delegates in the history of the event. Organized by ElitePlus, the event was held from 22-23 August at the Sahara Star Hotel near Mumbai airport. In attendance were some of the biggest names from the flexible packaging industry representing some of the leading packaging companies in the world. The focus of the current edition was majorly on the hotly discussed topic of sustainability.
In the opening session of the first day, Vipul Shah of Reliance Industries in his keynote gave an overview of the circular economy and highlighted Reliance’s approach towards sustainability and all the innovative solutions that the company is implementing to optimally utilize plastic waste in a variety of applications. Ashok Chaturvedi, chairman of Uflex Limited, also informed the audience about the steps taken by his company to tackle plastic waste. David Clark of Amcor in his keynote said that plastics have been getting a bad name but the fact is that if there was no plastic in this world, the environmental cost due to usage of alternatives to plastics would be much higher. Subhadra Rao of Yes Bank gave a glimpse into the recent developments in global economy and their impact on India. The opening session concluded with an address by P Raghavendra Rao, secretary, Department of Chemicals and Petrochemicals, Government of India, who presented the government’s thinking on the issue of sustainability and plastic waste management. Rao said that it was the responsibility of all stakeholders to take up the issue of awareness about plastic waste and littering.
The second session comprised of three panel discussions around the topics of recycling and sustainability, post-consumer waste, and plastic waste management.
The third session of the first day saw presentations by officials from leading flexible packaging convertors and packaging film manufacturers. Arup Basu of Huhtamaki PPL reiterated that fact that plastic is the most resource-efficient packaging material when compared to other material like metal or glass. Basu also talked about HPPL’s Blueloop initiative, which is the company’s initiative for recycling and reuse. Mohammed Nadeem, chief executive officer of Paharpur 3P, talked about his company’s effort at tackling on-site waste as well as effluent. He also said that consumers need to take up the responsibility of minimizing their impact on the environment. Pankaj Poddar of Cosmo Films delivered a short presentation on various types of films and their properties.
During the third session, a special talk was delivered by CK Mishra, secretary, Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Government of India. During his talk Mishra said that the flexible packaging industry should innovate and bring new sustainable solutions as India will see more packaging waste due to it growing economy and rapidly rising consumption.
The fourth and the fifth sessions on the first day were dedicated to technological trends in manufacturing and packaging strategies for the future.
The second day saw a keynote address by Ajit Singh, chairman and co-founder of ACG Worldwide, who informed the audience about the evolution of the company over the years and how ACG became a successful Indian multinational company with operations in multiple locations globally. Prakash Javadekar, minister of Environment and Forest and Climate Change and minister of Information and Broadcasting, addressed the event via a video link.
The sixth session saw Nilesh Shah of ExxonMobil and Rajnish Mehta of Hindustan Petroleum speak about their company’s plans to service the packaging industry. Mehta said that Hindustan Petroleum will soon foray into the petrochemical industry and is keen to be part of the growth of the Indian packaging industry.
The seventh and the eighth sessions were dedicated to the converting side of the business where representatives from some of the leading machine manufacturers such as Bobst, W&H, SP Ultraflex and Pelican, among others, spoke about the solutions they offer and what new innovations they are undertaking.
The ninth and the final session dealt with inks, additives and adhesives. One of the speakers was Sebastian Anton of Oxea, who stressed that toluene is being gradually phased out on most countries including India and the industry will need to start dealing with alternatives soon.