Glass packaging becomes active!

The latest innovations in glass containers

AGI glaspac
Inside image of AGI glaspac's container glass manufacturing plant. Photo - AGI glaspac

Glass has a presence in our daily lives in various forms, such as containers, tableware, automotive and transport, appliances, and electronics. More than 75% of European consumers see glass as the most sustainable and eco-friendly form of packaging material. Glass can be infinitely recycled within a closed loop as a part of the circular economy. 


The beauty of glass is its recyclability – no matter how many times it is recycled, its quality never diminishes – glass remains glass! Due to increasing awareness towards sustainability and demand for eco-friendly solutions, in many countries, people have started contributing to achieving a 100% recycling rate by bringing their used glass bottles and jars to the nearest bottle bank. 


Glass has an almost zero rate of chemical interactions, ensuring that the products inside a glass bottle are safe, keep their strength, aroma, and flavor. Rajesh Khosla, president and chief executive officer of AGI-glaspac, speaking about glass packaging at the National Conference on ‘Packaging for a better life’ said, “Due to the environmental issues, glass has become a popular choice among industries. Although other packaging materials, including tinplate, flexible packaging, and others, are working on sustainable solutions, still glass bottles are likely to hold a significant share of the container packaging industry. We at AGI, are also committed to giving a very sustainable environment for future generations to come.” 

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Rajesh Khosla, president, and chief executive officer of AGI-glaspac

Indian container glass industry

According to Khosla, the global container glass industry is worth approximately US$ 70 billion (roughly Rs 500 thousand crore). In India, the total container glass market is worth US$ 2 billion (around Rs 15000 crore). “Glass does not hold the major share in the country’s packaging market, but hopefully, the market share will go up with the upcoming future trends,” he believes.


Kholsa further stated that from 2008 to 2011, the Indian glass industry was growing at a CAGR of 9%. However, from 2012 to 2016, the growth was flat (1%) because of other packaging materials aggressively taking over the industry. Currently, the glass industry is again growing at a healthy CAGR of 10%.


“The per capita consumption of container glass in India is at 1.8 kilograms, which is much lower compared to other nations, for example, in China, it is 9 kilograms,” he admits but is hopeful that this would provide a possibility of good upside potential in the country.

Segments Group
Glass packaging solutions offered by AGI glaspac to different segments. Photo ­ AGI glaspac

Glass has poor recyclability in India

Addressing glass recycling in India, Khosla reveals, “In India, the recyclability rate of glass is very poor (only 30 to 35 %) compared to Europe, which is at a level of 75 to 80 %. The high recyclability percentage means that whatever goes to the market, it comes back. Whereas in India, it mostly goes to landfills because our collection, as well as remelting systems, are not functioning well. We should increase the recyclability rate in the country.”

The glass container industry is pro-active

As discussed above, although glass is an excellent packaging material, due to some disadvantages or constraints, other packaging materials are preferred over glass. The limitations include fragility, weight, limited shapes, and cost. Khosla says that the latest developments by the glass industry tackle these disadvantages, “To reduce fragility hot and cold coatings are applied on the surface. The glass industry is consistently reducing the glass weight of products to the tune of 10,000 MT every year using advanced blow-blow and Narrow Neck Press and Blow (NNPB) technologies. AGI has invested almost Rs. One hundred fifty crores (US$ 20 million) in its up-gradation to make light-weighted beer bottles. To address the limited shapes of glass containers available, the latest technologies have been introduced to make all the intricate shapes.”


Speaking about the cost-effectiveness, Khosla states, “Glass is not expensive. We need to have a holistic approach to see the total life cycle cost, which includes recyclability costs as well. Glass is pretty ahead due to recyclability, and it is a better environmental product today as we are considering the circular economy.”

Cosmetic and functional trends 

The container glass industry is experiencing two types of trends – cosmetic and functional trends. Khosla explains, “Cosmetic trends like shrink sleeves, hydrographic spray coating, UV printing, and hot foil stamping are happening in the glass industry. For example, the tiny perfume bottles attract you towards them without even knowing what is inside. On the other side, functional trends improve traceability with the help of NFC labels, tags, or bottles. In addition, other things are happening in the industry like LED glass lighting, smart glass bottles, and containers giving information about the temperature and life of the product.”

Innovation and active packaging make a difference at AGI

Established in 1972, AGI glaspac, HSIL Packaging Products Divison, is engaged in the manufacture of high-quality glass containers for food, pharmaceuticals, soft drinks, spirits, beer, wine, and other industries. The company has two state-of-the-art manufacturing plants in Hyderabad and Bhongir (Telangana). AGI melts more than 1600 tons of glass in a day and manufactures 6.5 lakh bottles every day across segments.

AGI glaspac Plant 1
Formation of glass bottles. Photo – AGI glaspac

Khosla speaks about the company’s latest developments – “AGI is working on the latest technologies including hollow decorations and the internal embossing of glass bottles. AGI is trying to get it patented in India, and our anti-depression bottle is undergoing testing in Europe, as well as antibacterial glass bottles.”


“We are working on a project for beer packaging professionals where they want to know how many times the bottle has been recycled. We are in discussions with global technology providers to get the advanced technology which can enable us to know which product is going where and how many times it can recycle in factories or in filling plants,” he reveals. 

The Covid-19 pandemic led to the country-wide lockdown on 25 March 2020. It will be two years tomorrow as I write this. What have we learned in this time? Maybe the meaning of resilience since small companies like us have had to rely on our resources and the forbearance of our employees as we have struggled to produce our trade platforms.

The print and packaging industries have been fortunate, although the commercial printing industry is still to recover. We have learned more about the digital transformation that affects commercial printing and packaging. Ultimately digital will help print grow in a country where we are still far behind in our paper and print consumption and where digital is a leapfrog technology that will only increase the demand for print in the foreseeable future.

Web analytics show that we now have readership in North America and Europe amongst the 90 countries where our five platforms reach. Our traffic which more than doubled in 2020, has at times gone up by another 50% in 2021. And advertising which had fallen to pieces in 2020 and 2021, has started its return since January 2022.

As the economy approaches real growth with unevenness and shortages a given, we are looking forward to the PrintPack India exhibition in Greater Noida. We are again appointed to produce the Show Daily on all five days of the show from 26 to 30 May 2022.

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– Naresh Khanna

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Technical Editor - Mandeep Kaur is working with IPP Group and holding editorial responsibilities for the IndiFoodBev and PSA Healthcare platforms. Earlier she handled editorial responsibilities of food, beverage, and agriculture publications at another publisher. A gold-medalist in M Tech (Food Technology), she has hands-on experience in operating different types of instruments related to physico-chemical testing of grains and flour. She has worked at Evalueserve in the Intellectual Property (IP) division for more than three years handling projects in the life sciences domain.


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