A CII report suggests that by adopting sustainable packaging practices, companies in India can reduce their packaging costs by up to 30%.
If you have done online shopping in recent times, you might have come across a significant change in packaging. Online e-commerce platforms are increasingly using biodegradable material and the focus has also been to minimize packaging waste. The change in packaging pattern echoes the government’s chain of thought as the Department of Consumer Affairs has announced its plans to set standards for sustainable packaging. The move aims to reduce soft waste generated by the food and beverage industry and promote the use of eco-friendly materials in packaging.
The department in this regard is expected to extensively collaborate with industry experts and stakeholders to design guidelines for sustainable packaging that align with global compliances. From a brand perspective, this was expected as giants like Flipkart and Amazon have already begun their transition to sustainable packaging.
Flipkart claims to have become the first e-commerce company to actively support this initiative and has worked with many stakeholders to adopt sustainable packaging. As per its claims, in July 2021, most of its seller-fulfilled shipments were delivered in sustainable packaging. Jumping on the bandwagon, Amazon India has also made significant progress in its efforts towards sustainability. In September 2019, the company pledged to reduce all single-use plastic packaging from more than 50 of its filling centres. Moreover, in December 2019, Amazon India replaced plastic packaging materials like bubble wraps and air pillows with sustainable alternatives like paper cushioning.
“Flipkart’s journey to sustainable packaging has been a strategic and concerted effort to create a positive environmental and social impact. We embarked on our ambition to reduce plastic back in 2018, and by the following year, we pledged to entirely expunge single-use plastic from our packaging in the supply chain. In June 2021, we were successful in eliminating single-use plastic packaging from our own supply chain,” said Dharashree Panda, Director – Sustainability at Flipkart.
Interestingly, Flipkart has also established a plastic recycling network to recycle equivalent consumer plastic waste. Panda said that these efforts have significantly contributed to reducing overall costs in Flipkart’s supply chain. “As we move forward, Flipkart’s sustainability priorities will only continue to grow and we hope to encourage the ecosystem at large,” she said.
Abhinav Singh, Vice President – Operations, Amazon India said, “Through innovative technologies, processes, and materials, we have successfully reduced packaging weight by 38% globally and eliminated over 1.5 million tons of packaging materials since 2015. Our pilots in India for single-use plastic-free solutions and collaborations with manufacturers for sustainable packaging innovations have enabled us to make significant progress towards our sustainability goals without impacting the customer experience or product safety. We have taken several steps towards minimizing packaging waste across our supply chain, including expanding our India-first initiative, Packaging-Free Shipment, to more than 300 cities across the country. We believe that every effort we take is a step towards positive transformation for society. However, there is still a long way to go, and we consider this as Day One towards achieving our sustainability vision.”
A CII report suggests that by adopting sustainable packaging practices, companies in India can reduce their packaging costs by up to 30%. A survey by Nielsen found that 75% of Indian consumers are willing to pay more for products that use sustainable packaging, and 71% believe that companies have a responsibility to use environmentally friendly packaging. This suggests that there is a growing demand for sustainable packaging among Indian consumers, which can lead to increased sales and higher profits for companies that adopt it.
The push for acceptance of sustainable packaging is not confined to the e-commerce sector alone. Leading restaurant aggregators and food delivery giants such as Zomato, as well as dairy industry bigwigs such as Amul and Mother Dairy, are also betting big on plastic-neutral packaging to support their sustainability initiatives. While Zomato aims to deliver 10 crore orders in sustainable packaging by 2025, Amul and Mother Dairy are aggressively moving towards sustainable packaging, paper cartons and recyclable materials.
Citing the colossal magnitude of sustainable packaging initiatives, globally acclaimed players in the food and beverage packaging industry are also making substantial investments in India. Highlighting the transformative trends in the Indian packaging industry, Vandana Tandan, Head of Market India and Bangladesh at SIG Combibloc India Private Limited, said, “There is a growing demand to reduce waste and minimize the environmental impact of packaging. This has led to an increased focus on recyclable, biodegradable and compostable materials, as well as innovative packaging designs that reduce the amount of material used. Therefore, aseptic solutions are being embraced as a viable solution to meet the growing demand for packaging that is safe, convenient and sustainable”. She further opines that moving forward that the industry is poised to enter a period of sustained evolution.
Source : zeenews