EPL is the Mumbai-based tube packaging company in which Blackstone invested US$ 470 million in 2019 for a 75% share from its erstwhile promoters – the Essel Group and public shareholders. About a year later, Blackstone divested about 23% of its shareholding but continues to hold 52% of the company’s shares, which the company stated it will not dilute further.
The global company, which calls itself the world’s largest packaging manufacturer of specialty packaging, currently has its operations and manufacturing plants in more than a dozen countries on four continents. Even before Blackstone’s investment, Essel Packaging, as it was then known, was actively developing recyclable tubes for the food, pharma, and personal and healthcare industries.
In the past three years, it has expanded these developments with suitable recyclable laminates and barrier structures that allow its tubes to be recycled in recognized waste streams. Its recyclable tubes have been certified as such by ReCyclass in Europe and APR in North America. EPL has become a signatory to the New Plastic Global Commitment towards building a circular economy, an initiative led by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation in collaboration with the UN environment program. EPL is also a founding member of the India Plastics Pact.
The newest EPL 100% recyclable tube is called the Platina, and this HDPE solution uses EVOH in acceptably recyclable limits for the barrier properties required by its customers. Platina volumes have ramped up in the past couple of years across large and small customers such as Colgate, P&G, Unilever, GSK, Hela, and Vicco – the globally established Ayurvedic personal care Indian brand.
The Platina Pro laminate tube was one of the first tubes in the world to receive the RecyClass award. The independent certificate applies to Europe in the ‘Code 2’ HDPE material stream (recycling) sector and confirms its sustainability. As its global CEO and managing director Anand Kripalu says, “Our purpose is to be the most sustainable packaging company in the world. As part of that, we aim to create sustainable packaging solutions while reducing the amount of plastic. Platina is one such innovation that has met significant marketplace success.”
The impact, resilience, and growth of responsible packaging in a wide region are daily chronicled by Packaging South Asia.
A multi-channel B2B publication and digital platform such as Packaging South Asia is always aware of the prospect of new beginnings and renewal. Its 16-year-old print monthly, based in New Delhi, India has
demonstrated its commitment to progress and growth. The Indian and Asian packaging industries have shown resilience in the face of ongoing challenges over the past three years.
As we present our publishing plan for 2023, India’s real GDP growth for the financial year ending 31 March 2023 will reach 6.3%. Packaging industry growth has exceeded GDP growth even when allowing for inflation in the past three years.
The capacity for flexible film manufacturing in India increased by 33% over the past three years. With orders in place, we expect another 33% capacity addition from 2023 to 2025. Capacities in monocartons, corrugation, aseptic liquid packaging, and labels have grown similarly. The numbers are positive for most of the economies in the region – our platform increasingly reaches and influences these.
Even given the disruptions of supply chains, raw material prices, and the challenge of responsible and sustainable packaging, packaging in all its creative forms and purposes has significant headroom to grow in India and Asia. Our context and coverage engulf the entire packaging supply chain – from concept to shelf and further – to waste collection and recycling. We target brand owners, product managers, raw material suppliers, packaging designers and converters, and recyclers.
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