Attractive and sustainably packed boxes for Diwali

The market shows readiness in adopting sustainable food packaging

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Sustainable and hygienic food packaging box for this Diwali. Photo: Zhongke India
Sustainable and hygienic food packaging box for this Diwali. Photo: Zhongke India

The Indian festive seasons have arrived and many people have friends and relatives visiting them after a long time. So, do you have any plans for how to welcome your guests this Diwali? In Indian society, we have a ritual of gifting fancy kind of boxes of sweets or snacks or dry fruits to our dear ones. But, have you ever thought of whether these food items are safe and hygienic or how these boxes are made in the packaging plants? The pandemic gave us many lessons about hygiene and health, and we all need to be particular about how much or what kind of food packaging will be safe for us, our family, and friends.

Sustainable packaging is no longer a nice-to-have, it’s a must-have for any brand looking to future-proof its operations against the rising tide of consumer interest and scrutiny. Sustainability is a multifaceted concept, and the perception of the word ‘sustainable’ is usually different for each business model. However, sustainable food packaging is defined as the use of packaging that seeks to reduce its environmental impact throughout its life cycle while maintaining food safety and quality.

How should the packaging industry deal with food packaging sustainability this Diwali?

The first step toward any sustainable packaging solution relies on reducing the number of materials being used. This tackles the issue at its source – the three R’s (reduce, reuse, recycle). As there will be a reduction in consumption, it will be easier for the entire supply chain to deal with less waste. This will not only reduce the packaging cost but also reduce the energy used and the by-products resulting from the disposal process.

Innovative sustainable food packaging aims to reduce food waste and loss by preserving food quality and maintaining food safety by preventing food-borne diseases and food chemical contamination. To achieve sustainable packaging, the entire thrust is to choose a food-safe and non-toxic paper to protect products from biological, chemical, and distribution damages.  

If it’s manufactured using clean and efficient production technologies, it offers a hygienic environment for the product by restricting the contamination of food particles. However, it is important to see beyond paper to achieve sustainable packaging solutions. Is it sourced, manufactured, transported, and recycled using the least carbon footprint? This is where the need for technology upgradation in tune with sustainable production is required, and automation plays a vital role in ensuring the least human interaction to avoid contamination.

Zhongke India’s role in automation

Zhongke India, a manufacturer of machines for making gift boxes and other solid board boxes, is known for automation – as its machines offer the best kind of automation, are pre-set enabled to minimize wastage, and are suitable for sustainable production with high energy efficiency. In a conversation with Zhongke India, we learned that the company is participating in the IndiaCorr Expo, which will take place in Mumbai from 6-8 October, where they will be showcasing the ZK 5540C automatic box forming machine in Hall 4, Stand A3.

ZK-5540, an automatic box forming machine to be displayed at Zhongke India’s stand at IndiaCorr Expo. Photo: Zhongke India
ZK-5540, an automatic box forming machine to be displayed at Zhongke India’s stand at IndiaCorr Expo. Photo: Zhongke India

This machine can run cardboard, Kraft paper and liners, and corrugated sheets to form boxes at a speed of 2500 pieces an hour. With the flexibility to run various styles and simple production processes, the machine is very popular, especially in the sweets industry, to support the surges in demand during festive seasons like Diwali.

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 grown 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!

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– Naresh Khanna (25 October 2023)

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