ITC Expands Eco-Friendly Packaging Options
ITC, an Indian fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) giant, demonstrated its unwavering dedication to tackling the issue of plastic waste management through a series of impactful initiatives.
Aligned with its visionary "Sustainability 2.0" approach spearheaded by Chairman and MD Mr Sanjiv Puri, the company has significantly increased its investments in the development of innovative and eco-friendly packaging solutions that serve as substitutes for single-use plastics. Furthermore, ITC has maintained its Plastic Neutrality status for the second consecutive year by responsibly managing 60,000 MT of plastic waste in FY23, surpassing its packaging utilisation.
Mr B Sumant, Executive Director of ITC Ltd., emphasised the company's commitment to reducing plastic usage on World Environment Day 2023, stating, "At ITC, we have implemented comprehensive waste management interventions with a particular focus on plastics. Our Paperboards, Paper, and Packaging Businesses continue to pioneer sustainable packaging solutions that can effectively replace single-use plastics. Many of our brands and businesses have also embraced innovative measures to minimise plastic usage, aligning with our objective of creating a positive environmental impact."
ITC's Paperboards, Paper, and Packaging Businesses have emerged as leaders in packaging innovation, championing the substitution of single-use plastics. Extensive research conducted at the Life Sciences and Technology Centre has yielded remarkable results, including the development of various eco-friendly products.
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Among these are recyclable paperboards named 'FiloPack' and 'FiloServe,' as well as biodegradable alternatives like 'OmegaBev' and 'OmegaBarr.' These innovative paperboards offer sustainable options for plastic-coated containers and cups used in deep freeze applications.
In response to the issue of plastic food containers in delivery services, the Paperboards Business has introduced the IndoBowl, a paperboard-based alternative to traditional plastic containers. Additionally, the business has engineered high-strength, multi-layered paper products as substitutes for single-use plastic cutlery. Moreover, the 'WrapWell' food wrapping paper has been designed to be food-grade, eco-friendly, oil and grease-resistant, and microwave-safe.
ITC's Packaging Business encompasses both fibre-based and plastic laminate offerings. The business has accelerated the development of recyclable laminates with reduced plastic usage, embodying a more circular design approach.
Through ongoing efforts, the business has launched innovative products such as Bio-seal and Germfree for Tea envelopes and QSR segments, which provide sustainable packaging alternatives in the cartons and flexible packaging market. These notable achievements have garnered the business three prestigious World Packaging Organisation awards, selected by an international jury, in recognition of its sustainable packaging solutions for beverages and ice-cream segments.
Plastic reduction measures have also been implemented in ITC's personal care brands. Various brands within the portfolio have progressively adopted recyclable options. For example, Fiama Shower Gel bottles now integrate 50% post-consumer recycled material, while Savlon Glycerine Soap Wrapper employs 70% post-consumer recycled plastic in its PET layer. Engage Perfume and Cologne bottles have made a complete transition to 100% paper-based recyclable cartons.
ITC's Foods business has taken proactive steps to reduce plastic consumption, implementing various initiatives across its brands:
• Aashirvaad Organic Whole Wheat Atta has introduced a 1kg pack using a paper-based bag, resulting in a 25% reduction in plastic usage. ITC's Paperboards & Specialty Papers Business created a special paper for this packaging solution, demonstrating the company's dedication to environmentally friendly options.
• Sunfeast Yippee! Power Up Noodles has undergone a significant transformation by transitioning to 100% mono-material PP laminate for both the outer pack and inner sachet. This switch eliminates the previously used multi-layered PET/PE laminate, significantly reducing plastic usage. Notably, Sunfeast Yippee! Noodles actively engages with the community, educating over 30 lakh schoolchildren about the importance of plastic waste recycling. Additionally, the brand encourages children to collect and return plastic wrappers, leading to an impressive collection of over 10 lakh Yippee! Noodles wrappers further contribute to the reduction of plastic pollution.
• ITC MasterChef Frozen Snacks has embraced environmentally friendly practices by adopting 100% mono-material PE laminate for select variants. This change replaces the previously utilised multi-layered PET/PE laminate packaging, reflecting the brand's commitment to reducing plastic waste.
• B Natural Juices has made strides in sustainable packaging by incorporating 25% recycled content shrink wrap in its secondary packaging. This initiative promotes the use of recycled materials and contributes to the reduction of plastic usage.
ITC's Hotels Business has taken significant measures to reduce plastic waste. Plastic water bottles have been replaced with eco-friendly glass bottles, aligning with the company's commitment to sustainable practices. Moreover, plastic drinking straws, stirrers, and other plastic items have been replaced with paper and wood-based alternatives, further contributing to the reduction of plastic pollution.
ITC remains dedicated to the goal of ensuring that 100% of its packaging is reusable, recyclable, or compostable/biodegradable. By actively pursuing sustainable packaging solutions, ITC sets an example by promoting responsible consumption and environmentally conscious practices in the industry.
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