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Focus on the importance of quality packaging against the pandemic onslaught

With the main theme „Breaking Barriers, Bridging the Gs”, the CII Western Region organized the CII Packaging Conference and Expo, chaired by Piruz Khambatta, CMD, Rasna Ltd. This initiative took place from 18.-25. May 2021 virtually with the aim of making it easier for the packaging sector to adopt best practices to promote sustainable development. It provided a two-day conference with rich discussions on various aspects of the packaging sector. The simultaneous eight-day virtual exhibition enabled the presentation of the latest advances, innovations and the best products and solutions.

The CII Packaging Conference was supported by the Indian Institute of Packaging (IIP) & Plastic Machinery Manufacturer Association of India. It received an overwhelming response from industrial companies and government and academic stakeholders. At the two-day conference, 27 well-known national and international speakers shared different perspectives, while the parallel digital exhibition promoted innovation and boosted business.

At the opening session, Khambatta highlighted the role of Indian packaging in the national economy. He also underlined the importance of research on Indian alternatives such as bamboo, jute, etc. and stressed the need for industry and science to work together to incorporate sustainability into packaging.

B Thiagarajan, Chairman of CII Western Region and Managing Director, Blue Star Ltd, expressed his belief that the packaging and related service industries will play a key role in creating India’s future growth and spoke to industry stakeholders the potential in terms of technology, efficiency, competence and global competitiveness through the use of new digital know-how. He also recognized the key role of the CII in serving the industry and supporting communities in the western region, especially during these times of the pandemic.

Subhash Desai, Minister for Industries, Mines and Marathi Language, Government of Maharashtra, emphasized in his address the importance of high quality packaging against the onslaught of the pandemic. He added, “Packaging is a key component of any product and in line with this perspective, the Maharashtra state government has included the packaging sector and its offerings in the essential services and the Maharashtra State Government’s Logistics Park Policy will benefit national and international Actors of the packaging. „

Ajit Singh, Chairman of ACG Worldwide, said: „The world’s largest packaging industry is committed to delivering smart, sustainable and environmentally friendly products.” He also highlighted the shortcomings in pharmaceutical packaging, including the inadequate presentation of critical information, suggested alternatives, and looked for interventions, including regulatory compliance, to ensure consumer safety.

SN Venkataraman, Chairman of the Technical Committee for Per Packaging Products and Executive Vice President, ITC Ltd, introduced the GreenPro Ecolabelling Standard, which was developed by the CII Sohrabji Godrej Green Business Center under his direction. Venkatraman continued: “The standard will help bridge the gs and is part of the CII GreenPro initiative, which was launched with the support of all stakeholders including product manufacturers, test labs, consultants and end users, to promote sustainable pro-packaging in India Industry.”

The opening session was followed by a panel discussion on sustainable packaging, moderated by Robin Banerjee, MD, Crihans India. It included the active participation of senior industry stakeholders such as Sudhanshu Vats, MD and CEO, EPL Ltd (formerly Essel Propack); Ashutosh Manohar, Managing Director – South Asia, Tetra Pak India; RN Murthy, Managing Director, Tinplate Company of India – TCIL; Jeevaraj Pillai, President Flexible Packaging & New Product Development, UFlex Ltd; and Gajanan Khot, Director – FEVC, Aqua Chill Systems.

The second day of the conference began with a panel discussion that provided a practical overview of innovations in plastic packaging and recycling. The session was moderated by Mahendra Patel, CMD, Mamta Machinery. Esteemed panelists such as Shirish Divgi, Managing Director – Asia, Milacron India; Vivek Chinoy, Marketing Director, Electronics Devices Worldwide – Sigma CSeal; NLN Raju, COO, Signode India; Neelam Lalwani, Global Head – Quality, ACG Worldwide; shared fascinating insights into innovations that promote sustainability through plastic packaging.

The next session of the conference mainly focused on the sustainability quotient of wood-based packaging. The session, moderated by Prof. Prasad Balan Iyer, I / C Director of the SIES School of Packaging, enabled key panelists such as Dr. TK Dhamodaran, Chair of Excellence, Institute of Wood Science and Technology (IWST) and Indian Council of Forestry Research and Education (ICFRE); DK Rai, Director, CHEP India; Andreas Phil, Executive Vice President-R & D / Technology Portfolio, Nefab; Manan Chopra, Director, Benz Packaging Solutions; Reflections on strategies and best practices that promote wood and wooden pallets as the ideal medium for sustainable packaging.

The final session of the conference, moderated by Sudip Mall, General Manager of Huhtamaki India, facilitated the discussion on the role of Pulp and Per Packaging in introducing inclusive and sustainable growth.Saket Kanoria, MD, TCPL Packaging; Dr. Amit Singla, Director & Leader, IIP Ahmedabad; Scott Farber, director, strategic marketing and communications, Henkel Corporation; Prat Puranik, CMD, Miinu Industry Group; Sagar Shejwalkar, Head of Innovation and Product Development, Yash Pakka Ltd; presented their point of view on different ways of packaging on cellulose and Peri-basis, which correspond to the norms of an environmentally friendly development.

The eight-day trade fair, which took place at the same time, presented innovative offers and enabled secure business and operational continuity during the ongoing disruptive times. In addition, it promoted mutually beneficial partnerships across borders. Tinplate Corporation of India, Aqua Chill Systems, Benz Packaging, Electronics Devices Worldwide, Sigma Cseal, EPL Ltd (formerly Essel Propack), ACG Group were some of the leading brands attending the virtual exhibition and demonstrating the power of their respective offerings. The CII Packaging Conference and Expo encouraged the convergence of all stakeholders to develop strategies for inclusive growth. It provided a platform to bring the best in the packaging industry together, promote innovation, and find the best path for the industry. In line with the main theme, the event offered innovative perspectives for overcoming the gaps and improving prospects for growth. It enabled packaging experts and decision-makers from all industries to gain important insights for the development of the sector. The event was therefore the key to gaining insights from leading experts and thought leaders in this field, developing new growth drivers and eliminating their weaknesses in the supply chain. It was attended by over 1200+ delegates and visitors from all countries.