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.
“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.