However, we believe this will be with a difference. Recycled Rigid plastics will take the centre stage. From F&B to personal care to home care packaging, every segment will undergo a packaging re-haul. Sustainability will emerge as a mega packaging trend adopted by the rigid packaging industry. The market size of rigid recycled plastics has the potential to grow by 500+ thousand MT in the next four years. Brand owners and retailers will aim to reduce the negative impact on the environment with responsible packaging solutions. The industry will witness the following 1) Light-weighting – reducing material usage without impairing pack performance, 2) increased use of recycled plastics and 3) exploration of biodegradable packaging.
Commitment to Sustainability
Sustainability in packaging will be a core value for companies. The industry will witness brands and manufacturers coming together to develop sustainable packaging solutions and build circular economy.
Players like Danone and Unilever have already committed to a timeline and announced that all of their plastic packaging would be fully reusable, recyclable or compostable by 2025. Unilever is looking to reduce the weight of its packaging by one-third this year and increase the use of recycled plastic resins in its packaging by 25%.
Investment in R&D
Companies will have to invest in green R&D as part of their overall business strategy. The raw material manufacturers for plastics are already working hard to develop sustainable solutions. There is a lot of R&D conducted to make plastics out of sustainable and biodegradable materials that meet important criteria such as transparency, resistance to moisture & gases and composting. In the future, bioplastics including 100% bio-based PET bottles will enter commercial production and gain significant market share.
Can recycling become the New Green Business Frontier?
In the long run, recycling must make economic sense for it to accelerate and thrive. The demand for recycled products will require the products to be cost-competitive and high-quality. For this to happen, the collection and processing must be in place first. It certainly requires refinement of technology and systems. Back in India, PACE (PET Packaging Association for Clean Environment) has formed two ventures Circular Sustainability Solutions (CSS) and KARO Sambhav Foundation (KSF). The objective of these two new ventures is to bring all the producers and organisations/brands together under the EPR Rules and formulate a complete Eco-System for collection and recycling of all kinds of waste, primarily plastics.
CSS is a venture which will enable the industry to create a solution for Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) fulfilment in coordination with the Indian Government, Regulators and the Civil Society. KSF on the other hand, has been formed in order to create recycling infrastructure for Society at large. Karo Sambhav will work towards recycling packaging material, collecting post-consumer packaging, working across a network of recovery facilities, and converging resources currently being used by its existing members to tackle plastic packaging waste material.
Close to 31 companies including brands like Coca-Cola, Bisleri, Parle Agro, Dabur and manufacturers such as Manjushree Technopack and Reliance industries have joined forces to invest over INR 1,000 crore in Karo Sambhav and build a formal plastic circular economy in India.