Monthly Archives: February 2017


5 time saving blog (1)We are living in a less than perfect world. A world where almost one-third of the food (approximately 1.3 billion tonnes) produced for human consumption is wasted. Ironically as it may sound, consumers in rich countries waste almost as much food (222 million tonnes) as the entire net food production of Sub-Saharan Africa (230 million tonnes).Given that 6 out of every 10 people will live in an urban area by the year 2030 the situation may becomemuch worse than what it is today.

To put things in perspective, let’s clearly understand that when food is wasted we just don’t throw away the product. What we also throw away alongside is the work and energy that has gone into producing that food —- the effect that the food production has had on the environment.A straight line carbon foot print analysis done by DOW Packaging establishes that if an 8-ounce steak goes to waste, so does the 6.5 pounds of wheat and 1,200 gallons of water it took to produce that half-pound portion alone. The food that could solve worldwide hunger, the money that could aid the poverty-stricken, the water, land, and livestock that it took to produce the food, and the fuel it took for the transportation of all parts of the process are all wasted when food is lost.

Substantial research has gone to prove beyond reasonable doubt that we produce enough food today. It is the wastage of food that ultimately leaves almost 1 in every 7 people unfed and starving. It is only natural to worry about guaranteeing food security when the global population surpasses 9 billion by the year 2050.

The answer lies in effective and optimized packaging!

The raison d’êtreof packaging is to protect and promote the food product; provide information on product usage, health and safety, disposal etc.; make way for convenient transportation and usage of the food product; allow utilization of the food product through the supply chain; and support efficient handling of the food product throughout the supply chain.

In doing this packaging makes a very strong case for cutting down the overall food wastage.

Packaging in general and active packaging in particular reduce total waste by extending the shelf-life of food products, thereby extending their usability. While extending shelf-life, packaging ensures that the food product remains safe for consumption for a prolonged time. Packaging now comes in re-closable formats that offer immense ease to end-users to close the pack and keep the product safe throughout the prescribed shelf life.

The footprint caused by packaging is more than counterbalanced by reducing the food wastage that would have otherwise occurred in deprivation of adequate packaging. A cucumber wrapped in a skin snug PE film can actually result in increasing its life from anywhere between three to fourteen days. Packaged cheese is far more resource efficient than unpacked cheese owing to longer shelf life. Empirical studies have revealed that a definitive portion of packaged cheese decreases the CO2 footprint by 40% compared to same portion of unpacked cheese, even if there is an incremental cost of packaging involved in the first case.Even though packaging is being used, less food is being wasted, leading to a net-net lower overall carbon footprint.

Multi-layered barrier packaging keeps moisture and oxygen away, appropriately delaying product degradation. Modified Atmospheric Packaging (MAP) reduces the respiration rates in the food product thereby impeding the growth of microorganisms. Contemporary techniques like ethylene scavengers procrastinate ripening of fresh produce thereby extending its shelf life. Likewise oxygen scavengers retard the degradation of food in terms of off-flavour; colour change; nutrient loss and microbial attack thereby extending the shelf life of food and reducing the probability of early spoilage. Desiccants are also introduced in packaging to keep moisture at bay thereby foiling the growth of micro-organisms. Aseptic packaging enables a sterile environment for both the pack and the product thereby immensely increasing the shelf life of perishables like milk and other dairy products.

The whole concept of potion dispensation owes its existence to unit/ sachet packaging. Medicines, infant formulae, dairy whiteners etc. are now coming in pre-measured and optimized packaging that ensure that only theright quantity is administered. This in turn controls food wastage to a great extent.

According to INCPEN ten times more resources—materials, energy, water—are used to make and distribute food than are used to make the packaging to protect it. So when we waste food, we may be wasting 10 times more resources than those used to make the packaging that protects it. That hits the environment hard.

Optimized Packaging is the most befitting answer to the burgeoning problem of food waste in the day and age we live. To summarize, packaging prevents food spoilage; ensures food quality and safety across the supply chain; increases shelf-life and provides portion sizes addressing the very many needs of ever-changing consumer lifestyles throughout demographic spectrum.



Top ABP News CSR Leadership honours for Uflex Limited’s socio-environmental sustainability interventions

s socio-environmental sustainability interventionsIndia’s largest multinational flexible packaging materials and Solution Company UflexLimited has been conferred with two top honors for its social and environmental sustainability initiatives at the ABP News CSR Leadership Awards 2017 ceremony held in Mumbai on Friday.

“Natural Resource Conservation & Optimization of Ecosystem Services”is a special intervention Uflex has rolled out in Gautam Buddha Nagar District with the help of implementation partners Fiinovation- a global CSR consulting company and AROH Foundation- a leading civil society organization acclaimed for its work in social development and environmental restoration.

Under this initiative rolled out in selected villages of Gautam Buddha Nagar District (Uttar Pradesh) earlier in April 2016, in-situ and ex-situ Rain Water Harvesting (RWH) structures are being constructed and the maintenance thereof is being carried out through Participatory Rural Appraisal (PRA) mechanism. This is aimed at improving the receding ground water level through construction of percolation ponds and recharging the aquifers.

An integral component of this intervention is to foster horticulture through the plantation of fruit bearing trees on individual and community based participation model in each of the selected villages and safeguard them from dying. Community training and sensitization workshops are regularly carried out at the villages about the wise and judicious use of natural resources.

“Natural Resource Conservation & Optimization of Ecosystem Services” intervention was acknowledged as the Best Environment Friendly Project by the Jury of ABP News CSR Leadership Awards 2017.

‘Sports for Growth’ is the social sustainability intervention that Uflex is supporting Society for Transformation, Inclusion and Recognition through Sports (STAIRS) to roll- out for realizing the rights of under privileged children and youth to play freely irrespective of caste, creed, gender, religion, ethnicity, socio-economic status and physical/cognitive abilities, as enshrined in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC).

The social sustainability efforts by Uflex Limited are aimed at providing the best possible sport infrastructure to the underprivileged children and youth at STAIRS centres that have been adopted by Uflex in Delhi, Himachal Pradesh, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh. Particular attention is paid towards mentoring the children so that they are able to hone their skills and talent upholding true sportsmanship. Substantive efforts are also made towards Training of Trainers (TOTs) for ensuring optimized service delivery. One of the pivotal focal points of the initiative is inclusion of the girl child and the differently abled in the sports ecosystem.

‘Sports for Growth’ by Uflex was adjudged as the Best Corporate Social Responsibility Initiative in Sport by the Jury ofABP News CSR Leadership Awards 2017.

Expressing delight over the prestigious conferral, Mr. Ashok Chaturvedi, Chairman and Managing Director, Uflex Limited said, “As an organization Uflex accords very high value to socio-environmental responsiveness. We have been engaged in meaningful social interventions well before CSR became mandatory by the enactment of Companies Act, 2013. I strongly believe that businesses cannot grow without factoring in sustainability and growth of the society and environment in the long run.”

Uflex presents the game changer in pharma packaging

Uflex presents the game changer in pharma packagingConventionally Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) and Bi-axially Oriented Polyamide, BOPA (commonly known as BON) films have been extensively used in cold formed pharma packaging industry. A typical Alu – Alu blister laminate comprises three layers i.e. 25 micron BOPA/ 60 micron soft aluminium foil / 60 micron PVC.

Eliminating BOPAand PVC films in the cold formed Alu- Alu laminate blister pack for pharmaceuticals has for long remained a dauntingtask for packaging experts.

A conventional cold formed pharmaceutical blister back when dumped in the land fill gives away chlorine upon coming in contact with sunlight.This is extremely harmful for the environment. PVC also contains plasticizers with phthalates linked to a host of health disorders that can damage the liver, kidneys, lungs and reproductive system.PVC film leaves high carbon footprint making it further undesirable from the environmental perspective besidesexhibiting very low temperature resistance which is yet another shortcoming.

BOPA (BON) on the other hand is also fraught with challenges like high moisture absorption to the tune of 8-10% making its processing difficult; leading to de-lamination and impairing the ability of the film to be chemically primed.

Keeping these challenges of BOPA and PVC substrates in mind, the team at Films Business of Uflex undertook extensive R&D activitiesfor almost two years to come up with a special polyester film that obviates the problems posed by BON and PVC. The special polyester film is all set to replace the top and bottom substrates of the conventional cold formed Alu – Alu laminate to a whole new structure comprising36 micron special polyester/ 50 micron soft aluminium foil/ 36 micron special polyester.

Polyester is a para-crystalline material which possesses excellent barrier, clarity, printability, and hardness properties. Film forming and orientation of polyester augurs well for the creation of thin profile webs with excellent properties for use in flexible packaging.

This speciality film that has been developedby Uflex can be laminated on both sides of the aluminium foil without any problem quite like the laminate comprising BOPA, Aluminium Foil and PVC films. The engineers at Films Business of Uflex have been successfully able to bring metaphase morphology which has made it possible to form the film in Z direction which happens to be a pre-requisitefor blister packaging.

Commenting about this major breakthrough in the field of pharmaceutical packaging, Dr. SudhirNaik, Senior General Manager, Corporate Technical Services at Films Business of Uflex said,“Getting better functionalities as compared to theAlu – Alulaminate structure comprising BOPA-Aluminium Foil- PVC, Uflex has come up with a special polyester film that will have significant and substantial benefits for the converters catering to pharmaceutical brands. If we talk about India, BOPA (BON) is imported from countries like China, Korea and Taiwan. More over the convertors are left with no option other thanmanagingvaried inventories of BONand PVC films separately. With the introduction of our specialised Polyester film that will now be laminated on both the sides of Aluminium foil, the logistical hassles for convertors will surely go down. The dependency on import of BOPA will also go down as the converting industry gradually switches over to our new specialised polyester film for cold forming the blister packs. This film therefore makes a strong case for import substitution in India.

Talking further about the new polyester film Mr. Pramod Sirsamkar, President – Technical & New Product Development (Films), Uflex Limitedsaid, “The moisture absorption of this specialised polyester film is as low as 0.8% working out to almost 92% less than that of Nylon which is a big advantage. Aluminium foil as you know offers negligibly low oxygen and water vapour transmission rates. Such high barrier may not really be required by the drug packed inside. We are therefore also working towards offering high barrier (yet thinner) speciality polyester films as an alternative to aluminium foil that may further lead to the reduction in overall weight of the ensuing laminate. The introduction of specialised polyester film in Alu – Alu blister packaging as a replacement for BON and PVC films has also opened up avenues for us to come up with biodegradable and oxo-degradable variants further minimising the carbon foot prints. We are also working on developing such speciality filmsusing recycled polyester and Green PET that will bolster our commitment towards the environment.”, added Mr. Sirsamkar.

Complementing the comments from Films Business, Mr. Amitava Ray, Executive Director and Head of Packaging/Converting Business at Uflex said,“It is incredible that we have been able to replace the existing 25 micron BOPA/ 60 micron soft aluminium foil / 60 micron PVC structure with the new laminate comprising 36 micron special polyester/ 50 microns soft aluminium foil/ 36 micron special polyester films. There is also a yield benefit in the case of the new laminate structurebut with no compromiseon functionalities whatsoever.This light-weighting of the laminate equates to lesser energy consumption at all the three critical stages of flexible packaging life cycle i.e. manufacturing; transportation and disposal.

The reverse printingon the special substrate has further opened up the avenue for enhanced brand visibility and last mile communication possibilities through the body of the pack. Being fully integrated flexible packaging solutions company we also stand in a good stead to offer specialized and technologically advanced anti-counterfeiting features for the new Al- Alu laminate keeping the fake and spurious products at bay. This is all the more important for pharmaceutical products.

There is a substantial and growing demand for Alu-Alu blister packaging in India as well as across the globe. With the new Alu- Alu blister laminate structure in place, we at Uflex have been able to engineer a product in India that has way to go in several continents! This also upholds our commitment towards our Government’sflagship scheme, Make In India.

We are ready with the product and are working with leading pharmaceutical companies for the commercial rollout.

We will be exhibiting this packaging solution along with several value added packaging products for the pharmaceutical industry at ASIA PHARMA EXPO 2017 to be held at Bashundhara Convention City in Dhaka, Bangladesh from 23 to 25 February 2017. We will be in Hall 4-A; Booth no: 4001”,concluded Mr. Ray.

Expressing delight on the specialized polyester film that has been engineered by his team, Mr. Ashok Chaturvedi, Chairman and Managing Director, Uflex Limited said,“This is innovation with value added differentiation at its purest that fairly and squarely addresses the shortcomings of both BONand PVC films faced by convertors catering to the pharmaceutical companies. This film is a great product for the pharmaceutical packaging industry that will raise the bar for competition both in India and overseas thereby being a game changer. When the bar for competition is raised flexible packaging industry as a whole stands to benefit both in terms of quality as well as technology.”

Uflex will be present at Booth 4001 in Hall 4-Aat ASIA PHARMA EXPO 2017 to be held at Bashundhara Convention City in Dhaka, Bangladesh from 23 to 25 February 2017

Uflex reports Consolidated Total Revenue of Rs. 1498 Crore and Net Profit of Rs. 74 Crore for Q3 FY 2016-17

India’s largest multinational flexible packaging materials and Solution Company Uflex Limited announced the earnings for quarter ended 31 December 2016 today.

Total Consolidated Revenue for Q3 FY 2016-17 stood at Rs. 1498Crore as compared to Rs. 1495Crore for the same period in the last fiscal. At operational level the Consolidated EBITDA for the quarter ended 31 December 2016 stood at Rs. 212Crore registering a growth of 7% with respect to the previous financial year when it was Rs. 198Crore. The Consolidated Net Profit for Q3 FY 2016-17 has been Rs. 74 Crore as opposed to Rs. 79Crore for the same period in the preceding fiscal down by 6.9%.

For the first nine months of FY 2016-17, the company reported a 7.2% (Y-O-Y) increase in the Consolidated Net Profit which stood at INR 250Crore. Consolidated EBIDTA during the same period has been reported at INR 672 Crore registering a Y-O-Y growth of 5.4%.The Total Revenue for nine months ended 31 December 2016 has been Rs. 4555Crore down by 1% from the year before when it was recorded at Rs. 4602 Crore.

Commenting about the financial numbers, Mr. R.K. Jain, Group President (Corp. F & A), Uflex Limited said,“While the Y-O-Y revenue growth for both quarter and nine months ended 31 December 2016 has remained muted but the sales volume have grown by 9% and 8% respectively.

Given our well spread product portfolio of films and fully integrated value added flexible packaging solutionsboth in India and overseas we are very hopeful of achieving much better results in the ensuing quarter.”

In an official communique released soon after declaring the results, Mr. Ashok Chaturvedi, Chairman & Managing Director, Uflex Limited extended best wishes for 2017 and said, “Continuing our innovation streak, this year will witness a game changer in pharmaceutical packaging. After rigorous R&D of nearly two years, our Films Business has engineered speciality polyester film that is all set to replace the top and the bottom-most layers of the conventional BOPA – Aluminium Foil – PVC laminates that have been used in Alu-Alu blister packs across the pharmaceutical industry all this while. We have successfully been able to bring in metaphase morphology which has paved way for cold forming of the speciality polyester film in Z direction required for blister packaging. Most importantly the laminate produced out of the new speciality polyester film can be used equally efficiently on the existing cold blister forming machines without requiring any additional capital expenditure. This film exhibits excellent printability, mechanical and thermal properties. The benefits that shall accrue to convertors and pharmaceutical brands by the virtue of our new polyester film will be significant. In the coming months we will share more details about this product.

During the third quarter we unveiled ASEPTOTM our aseptic liquid packaging brand. I am glad to share with you that the response for our upcoming product has been more than encouraging already. Our aseptic liquid packaging manufacturing plant at Sanand, Gujarat will be commercially operational by April/ May 2017. Being a fully integrated flexible packaging materials and solution company, we will also be offering top of the line liquid filling machines (‘ASEPTOTM Smart Lines’) commensurate with the most contemporary aseptic packaging material for our clients.

Let’s brace up for an eventful year ahead where many new milestones will be achieved and flexible packaging as an industry will graduate to a whole new level of excellence!”, concluded Mr. Chaturvedi.