Growing demand for Unilever’s laundry products in India has created a need for quality packaging, which Amcor will satisfy with a new manufacturing plant dedicated to the needs of the global consumer-goods giant.
Amcor’s efficient new factory in Bharuch, Gujarat, in the Western region of India started operations this week after an official ceremonial event in October with executives from both companies.
As part of a seven-year agreement with Unilever signed in 2017, Amcor, the global packaging leader, made a substantial investment to build and equip the state-of-the-art Bharuch plant.
“Across all home-care categories, consumers in India are choosing products with packaging that provide them with the most convenience,” said Michael Zacka, president of Amcor Flexibles Asia Pacific, who attended the ceremony.
Mr Zacka said the site brings new-technology flexographic printing to the India market, and will be “a centre of excellence for product development and sustainable packaging solutions.”
The new plant is producing packaging for Unilever that will meet the rapidly evolving expectations of the company and the consumers who buy its products.
The 8,000-square-metre plant has three lines that will run 24 hours a day, producing flexible packaging using advanced flexographic technology. From initial employment of 50 people, Amcor anticipates the team in Bharuch to grow to 180 by December 2019.
Mr. Zacka said customers, suppliers and Amcor people should see the investment as evidence of his company’s “strong belief in India’s tremendous present and future, and the huge opportunity for Amcor and all our stakeholders.”
After cutting a ceremonial ribbon, Henk Sijbring, Vice President, Packaging Procurement, Unilever, described the site opening as a major milestone in the global partnership between Unilever and Amcor.
“This is the culmination of several years of strong collaboration and business growth between Unilever and Amcor,” said Mr. Sjibring. “The hub model, and the innovative ways of working it enables, is the first of its kind in packaging for Unilever and represents another significant commitment in this long-term partnership. The hub will enhance the capabilities of both companies to further delight consumers with market leading sustainable and innovative packaging solutions,” said Mr. Sijbring.
Unilever and Amcor have both committed to make all their packaging recyclable or reusable by 2025, to increasing the use of recycled content in plastic packaging, and to working with others to drive up recycling rates around the world.
The Bharuch plant is one example of Amcor’s broad, global environmental program, which sets ambitious targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and energy and water use for the company’s 200 locations around the world. The local Amcor team intends to have the site certified for sending zero waste-to-disposal.
Amcor employs more than 1,100 people across seven sites in India, who produce high-quality packaging for global, regional and national food and beverages, home and personal care, medical and pharmaceutical businesses across the region. Amcor has 38 sites across eight countries in the Asia Pacific region.