Tembo & UFlex Asepto discuss acceleration of paper straw project

Urgency in light of single-use plastics ban

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Tembo and Asepto meeting Noida
L-R Martin Grandjean, Business Development director Tembo, Harro Hokse, senior project manager Tembo, Ashwani Sharma, president & CEO Asepto & Terry Lock, managing director Tembo, Photo Uflex

A week after the UFlex Asepto announcement to set up India’s first and world’s fastest-speed line to manufacture U–shaped paper straws at the Sanand plant a team from Tembo in the Netherlands which is helping set up the line, visited Asepto on 25 April 2022 at the Noida office. The discussion focused on speeding up the project implementation, in light of the government’s single-use plastic ban taking effect on 1 July 2022. The imminent phasing out of plastic straws, has put the food and beverage industry under pressure to find suitable replacement. Tembo and UFlex-Asepto have co-developed a 100% renewable and recyclable paper straw solution that will be food grade, moisture-resistant and made from sustainably sourced papers.

On the occasion, Ashwani Kumar Sharma, President & CEO, Aseptic Liquid Packaging Business, UFlex, said, “We have a mission that our partners should not lose even a single-day of production, post the prohibitions on use of single-use plastic in India. We are moving at a lightning speed to help our customers. Being the fastest-growing Indian brand in aseptic liquid packaging, with YoY growth of 100% in the last four years, it is our responsibility to offer quick solutions which are eco-friendly and sustainable. With this U-shaped paper straw, we will showcase our commitment for a greener environment, changing the dynamics of the industry.”

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Martin Grandjean, Business Development director, Tembo Paper commented, “We understand the urgency from UFlex-Asepto and in pursuance to that our team took cognizance to speed up the process to help them achieve setting up the plant in the proposed time and start production. We will extend all possible support to Asepto to facilitate the installations and help them realize their dream of having a line that shall have both manufacturers and consumers contributing to waste reduction.”

UFlex-Asepto plans to launch U-shaped paper straws of 145mm and 165mm length, for its aseptic cartons. This will enable its clients to continue manufacturing and selling beverages and dairy product options in aseptic portion packs with environment-friendly paper straws. However, thus far no time frame has been given for the commissioning of the project.

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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