Speaking to Packaging 360, Mr. Manohar Kumar, Chief Technology Officer and part of Senior Leadership Team at Max Speciality Films Limited discusses the technology for developing, identifying and commercializing new sustainable Packaging solutions.
A technocrat having rich experience in Operations who transitioned into new role recently. He wears several hats at one of India’s oldest and best known packaging, labeling and lamination film producers at the Chandigarh based Max Speciality Films Ltd (MSFL) since inception.
Mr. Manohar is a Graduate (B.E.) in Chemical Engineering but spent most of his career in the field of packaging. He has been in the field of packaging films for 30+ years. He is one of the key member of leadership team who meticulously built MSFL image as a quality player leading in technology. A business strategist but very passionate about sustainability with a vision to innovate and make packaging films sustainable
Packaging 360: We would be delighted to hear the growth plans of Max Specialty Films Ltd to cater to the packaging requirements of the Indian market.
Manohar Kumar: Max Speciality Films Ltd. (MSFL) focus has been on Quality and Technology since inception. MSFL’s growth plans revolves around speciality films that is better performance with consistent quality. We are also working closely with our customers and brands to introduce new films which are sustainable/ recyclable. Some of the new range of products developed in last year should offer good growth opportunities in coming years.
Most of the MNCs are committed to make their product recyclable by 2025, our speciality BOPP with its unique properties is a perfect fit to offer all key performance parameters like sealing, barrier properties, printability etc., & make laminate structure 100% recyclable by substituting PET film, Met PET film, Aluminium foil etc.
Our new BOPP line is state of the art machine designed for thicker films & for sustainability portfolio. We have expanded our product offerings in Label segments like Pressure sensitive (PSL), In Mould (IML) and Wrap around Labels (WAL) in both coated and uncoated range.
Packaging 360: How does MSFL plan to address the high growth areas or sectors (FMCG, F&B, Cosmetics, home care, pharmaceuticals etc).? In India for the next 5 years & what are your strategic plans to forge partnership with major brands to develop new applications & new markets.
Manohar Kumar: We foresee consistent growth for FMCG companies for next few years. Urbanization, demographics and more women joining workforce should add to FMCG growth in India. But more than the FMCG growth rate we see a major shift in consumer mindset and therefore industry focus on solutions for sustainability and improved performance. We are working quite closely with all major brands and helping them to create these speciality sustainable packaging. We have helped brands to develop mono family / recyclable structures by replacing polyester films, Aluminium foils etc., for segments like Shampoo, Noodles, Coffee, tea, soap, Ketchup, Chocolates, Chips etc., We expect this shift to offer good growth for recyclable packaging products and also for other brands/ local players also moving to these structures driven by end user requirements.
Packaging 360: Please tell us MSFL’s thinking on “Sustainability”
Manohar Kumar : Being a technology company MSFL is at the forefront to drive sustainable solutions. We invested in a new state of the art line which was commissioned in 2018 to cater to the needs of recyclable solutions. This line was designed for producing thicker films and high barrier films in addition to other key features.
Plastic waste management rule was drafted in 2016 with some amendments in 2018 was instrumental in bringing some urgency in keeping the product portfolio ready in the event of ban on non-recyclable structures. However, the regulatory push has not yet taken concrete shape and limited clarity on execution and its timeframe. However, EPR – Extended Producer Responsibility should incentivize better collection and recycling and therefore we should see quick change from multi-layer structure to mono Family structures. And Brand’s proactive approach is helping this too.
MSFL’s product portfolio is rich and ready to support Brands to quickly implement this change from multi-layer structures to Mono family structures without affecting product performance in terms of shelf life of the product and to ensure that the packaging material is designed in such a way that it runs on existing packaging machines with minimal cost impact.
For all secondary packaging, we have developed 50 microns + overwrap film which is designed to run at high speeds on the packaging machines.
Packaging 360 : What are the innovative packaging formats / structures from MSFL to help Brand Owners achieve sustainability targets?
Manohar Kumar: We are helping brands to quickly change from multi-layer packaging material to Mono family, Mono Polymer and then slowly migrate to mono layer structures.
In addition to some of the examples mentioned above, we have developed BOPE film which can be a good bet for mono polymer structure i.e., BOPE/BOPE structure with good barrier for many different applications.
Some examples of packaging structure which are helping brand owners to achieve their sustainability targets in recent times are
Packaging 360: Please enumerate the steps taken by MFSL to support plastics waste management practices adopted by various brand owners.
Manohar Kumar: The various initiatives are outlined below:
– Spreading awareness on plastics across Punjab – Covering schools, colleges, public places including collection campaigns, nukkad natak etc.
– Engagement with Municipal Corporations across Punjab for sourcing plastic waste. Plastic waste to be used for “waste to energy” or “re-granulation”, we want to lead the way for people with entrepreneurial mindset to take this success story and create several options.
– Exploring business models to sustainably eliminate the plastic waste problem in India
– Keeping ourselves updated on the latest technology trends which aid recyclability across the globe
– We are keen to support brands by fulfilling their EPR obligations.