While discussing the EVOH seminar with a new flexible packaging converter who wants to build a sustainable packaging plant, we were informed that another option for sustainable barrier structures is to use a water-based coating from Michelman. The company’s innovation center near the airport in Mumbai, which contains a coater and barrier testing equipment, is being used extensively by film manufacturers and flexible packaging converters to develop and test recyclable single polymer laminate structures. 

Several trials since January 2023 have taken place for the development of single polymer structures with barrier properties provided by Michelman water-based coatings. Recyclable mono-material solutions for edible oil pouches have been developed with an oxygen barrier that matches or exceeds current structures in use. 

Two recyclable options shown for matching existing edible oil flexible pouches with single polymer structures sandwiching a Michelman water based coating

The possible structures include a solution comprising a PE layer, a sandwiched layer of Michelman’s O2 barrier coating, and the top layer of ink for decoration and overprint varnish. The second recyclable monomaterial structure is a two-ply solution comprising two PE layers with a sandwiched Michelman O2 barrier coating between them and a top layer of ink and overprint varnish. 

It is claimed that this is a more economical single polymer with a barrier recyclable solution because it does away with both the tie-layers that are required when using either nylon or EVOH for barrier properties. The recyclable structural developments with barrier properties are extremely interesting given that the clock has started ticking, not just for CEFLEX compliance but also for Indian Plastic Waste Management Rules about Extended User Responsibility spelled in February 2022 and reaffirmed with minor amendments in July 2022. 

There are increasing financial penalties in each year from 2022 onward for non-compliance up to 2027-28 in which 60% to 80% recycling is specified for each of the four categories of materials. The PWM rules apply to several categories of users including brand owners, plastic producers packaging converters, and importers. 

Packaging South Asia — resilient, growing and impactful — daily, monthly — always responsive

The multi-channel B2B in print and digital 17-year-old platform matches the industry’s growth trajectory. The Indian, South Asian, Southeast Asian, and Middle East packaging industries are looking beyond the resilience of the past three years. They are resuming capacity expansion and diversification, with high technology and automation in new plants and projects.

As we present our 2024 publishing plan, India’s real GDP growth for the financial year ending 31 March 2024 will exceed 6%. The packaging industry growth will match the GDP growth in volume terms and surpass it by at least 3% in terms of nominal growth allowing for price inflation in energy, raw materials, consumables, and capital equipment.

The capacity for flexible film manufacturing in India increased by 45% over the past four years. With orders in place, we expect another 20% capacity addition in 2024 and 2025. Capacities in monocartons, corrugation, aseptic liquid packaging, and labels are growing similarly. As the consumption story returns over the next six months, we expect demand to return and exceed the growth trajectory of previous years. The numbers are positive for most of the economies in the region – and as shown by our analytics, our platform increasingly reaches and influences these.

For responsible and sustainable packaging, with its attendant regulations and compliances, there is significant headroom to grow in India and the region. Our coverage includes the entire packaging supply chain – from concept to shelf and to waste collection, sorting, and recycling.

We target brand owners, product managers, raw material suppliers, packaging designers and converters, and recyclers. This is a large and complex canvas – the only thing that can work is your agile thinking and innovation together with our continuous learning and persistence.

The coming year looks to be an up year in this region, and this is the right time to plan your participation and marketing communication – in our rich and highly targeted business platform with human resources on the ground. Share your thoughts and plans to inspire and mobilize our editorial and advertising teams!

For editorial info@ippgroup.in — for advertisement ads1@ippgroup.in and for subscriptions subscription@ippgroup.in

– Naresh Khanna (25 October 2023)

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Naresh Khanna
Editor of Indian Printer and Publisher since 1979 and Packaging South Asia since 2007. Trained as an offset printer and IBM 360 computer programmer. Active in the movement to implement Indian scripts for computer-aided typesetting. Worked as a consultant and trainer to the Indian print and newspaper industry. Visiting faculty of IDC at IIT Powai in the 1990s. Also founder of IPP Services, Training and Research and has worked as its principal industry researcher since 1999. Author of book: Miracle of Indian Democracy. Elected vice-president of the International Packaging Press Organization in May 2023.


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