The PDIT2 Conference, organized by IppStar and Messe Dusseldorf India on 13 December 2019, concluded with good industry spirit on the evening of a generally rainy and overcast day at Pragati Maidan, Delhi. Over 120 industry professionals took part, including 30 brand owners.
The conference began with a warm welcome by Deepak Manchanda, who introduced the theme of the conference – Squaring the Circle of Responsible Packaging. The keynote sessions were delivered jointly by Cheryl Harrison, chairman, Vivia Foundation, and director of marketing, Propack, and Andrew Manly, communications director of AIPIA, who made a brief presentation introducing smart packaging. AIPIA and some of its key members such as Toppan, Kezzler, and NXP were key content supporters of the PDIT2 conference.
The brand-owner panel discussion, ‘Emerging role of modern packaging for competitiveness, convenience, and extended producer responsibility,’ was chaired by Barun Banerjee of Nestle. Leeladhar Poojary of Colgate, Vinay Nalawade of Parakh Agro, Himanshi Mahajan of Mother Dairy, and Kriti Soni of Dabur addressed EPR, responsible packaging, and the touchpoints for making these happen. There was insightful agreement on the various constraints and compelling needs for both sustainability and brand impact. An interesting cooperative solution was also suggested.
Nidhi Agarwal of Marico presented a detailed update on the FSSAI food safety compliances and packaging and labeling guidelines. S Chidambar, a senior packaging professional, emphasized the need for the industry to jointly face the mammoth issue of plastic use and its integration in the circular economy. His primary point is that plastic is used by industries that produce goods of far higher value than US$ 1.5 trillion, and the collective resources of these consumer product industries should be leveraged rather than fragmented and inadequately measly efforts at recycling. “The significant depletion of resources cannot be replenished since we are running out of them. We cannot throw away the tremendous energy and value that is invested in consumer products their packaging only to put them into landfills that generate methane,” he said.
The conference proceeded to its design, innovation, and active and intelligent packaging sessions. The AIPIA session moderated by Andrew Manly included presentations by N Siva Shankaran who spoke about the development of active films for packaging fruit and vegetables at Uflex. Other speakers on active packaging, track and trace and electronics and cloud connection with packaging were Roland Lartigue of Toppan, Prasanna Sukhi of Kezzler India, and Rohit Singhal of NXP.
The session recognizing the EPR initiatives for packaging waste management contained presentations by Shubhi Sachan and Rakesh Kumar of Recykal. Their presentations outlined what is being done to recycle flexible packaging laminates. It was quite interesting to have on the same platform, a provider of plastic waste, and a customer looking for plastic waste to recycle in its plant.
Note: This file has been slightly edited on 7 May 2021. The photograph of the Active and Intelligent Packaging session at the PDIT2 conference includes N Siva Shankar of Uflex who was one of the speakers. Siva Shankar, unfortunately, died of Covid-19 on the morning of 1 May 2021.