Michelman India – Food services look to paper-based packaging

Barrier coated paper packaging offers multiple benefits

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Michelman coatings add barrier properties to paper based packaging for eCommerce Photo Michelman
Michelman coatings add barrier properties to paper based packaging for food products and eCommerce Photo Michelman

Brands in the Indian food services industry are looking to shift to paper-based packaging as it is now able to better offer the requirements and benefits of barrier coating and water repellency, Aditi Ullal, manager, marketing communications at Michelman India told Packaging South Asia.

“The food service industry is motivated to shift to paper-based packaging. Barrier coatings impart oil and grease resistance and water repellency to paper and paperboard, which is perfect for disposable take away boxes, most commonly used in restaurants, sweet boxes, paper plates, cups and seafood applications. The applications are endless, although the right combination of paper substrate and coating is required to create a very efficient recyclable packaging structure,” she says.

Ullal asserts that with the latest plastic ban implementation notification, the Indian government continues to show its commitment to supporting greener and sustainable packaging solutions. It is making recyclability, downsizing, and down-gauging, top priorities for both Indian manufacturers and the multinational companies.

Aditi Ullal, manager, marketing communications at Michelman India Photo Michelman India
Aditi Ullal, manager, marketing communications at Michelman India Photo Michelman India

“The ban on single-use plastic provides an excellent opportunity for the development of paper and paperboard-based packaging solutions. There has been an increasing demand for paper packaging, especially by the big eCommerce players for paper bags and mailer bags. They are focussed on recyclability and repulpability and have switched to paper packaging with coatings for barrier properties,” she adds.

Michelman’s growth in flexible packaging

Because of the covid pandemic, there has been a clear shift towards packaged goods among a large section of Indian consumers. Ullal says that consumers are giving importance to hygiene which is an accepted value provided by most packaging solutions.

“The demand for packaged goods continues to rise and we see a significant growth in the Indian flexible packaging industry,” she says. “Additionally, the pandemic has created increase in awareness of hygiene practices as more and more consumers prefer packaged products. Brands and converters continue to remain focused on their sustainable packaging goals. This is very promising for the entire packaging industry.”

Continued development of recyclable substrates

Sustainability in packaging is an important focus area for Michelman. The company continues to innovate for a more sustainable future by developing packaging solutions that fulfil the vision of the circular economy.

“One of our primary focus areas is to enhance mono-material structures,” Ullal says. “Michelman’s next generation high barrier coating provides excellent oxygen barrier properties on various substrates like, PE, BOPP, MDOPE etc as well as paper substrates. It also has an excellent interlayer bond strength.”

She says that the most important aspect of the company’s product design and chemistry is that the products do not hinder in the recycling process. “We are currently collaborating with many brand owners and converters for developing sustainable structure for their end applications. Brand owners continue to be engaged in making their packages more sustainable, and particularly in creating updated packaging requirements,” she says.

Ullal says Michelman is deeply invested in research and development of sustainable coating solutions and it keeps introducing new products. “Our Michelman Innovation Centre (MICC) in Mumbai is fully operational and we actively engage with our customers to help them develop prototypes of recyclable packaging structures,” she concludes.

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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