Constantia Flexibles, the world’s third-largest producer of flexible packaging headquartered in Vienna, Austria, will open the world’s first plant designed to produce more sustainable and recyclable flexible packaging only in India. Production focus at the plant lies at the more environmentally friendly packaging family, EcoLam. The official opening of the site will take place on 20 November 2019, in Ahmedabad, Gujarat.
The reduction of waste in general and plastic waste, in particular, is an important issue for the food processing and home and personal care industry in India. The Indian government is responding to the problem and thus adopted ‘Plastic Waste Management Rules’ as early as in 2016. Among other things, the rules prescribe to scrap single-use plastics for flexible packaging such as pouches, by the year 2022. Another part of the new regulations is the phasing out of multi-layered plastic, which is non-recyclable.
Alexander Baumgartner, chief executive officer of Constantia Flexibles, said, “We know about our responsibilities towards the industry, the end consumers and – first and foremost – towards the environment. Thus, we are not only focusing on developing more environmentally friendly packaging, but we also designed the first plant in the world dedicated to producing sustainable packaging only. The plant named Constantia Ecoflex Ahmedabad is located in Gujarat in India, which is the perfect market to implement such a forward-looking project.”
Sustainable packaging only at the new plant in Ahmedabad
The decision to open a plant in India was relatively straightforward. Amongst others, the new ‘Plastic Waste Management Rules’ show that the Indian government can exert pressure on the recycling economy and that it supports initiatives and companies that advocate for less use of waste. The solutions produced at the new plant all belong to the innovative product family, EcoLam, which is part of Constantia Flexibles’ innovative product line Ecolutions.
EcoLam is a lightweight Mono-PE laminate suitable for a great variety of packaging applications. Due to its mono-material structure, it is fully recyclable, and its carbon footprint is approximately 32% lower than that of comparable products. The EcoLam family comes in different barrier grades (EcoLam, EcoLamPlus, EcoLamHighPlus) to deliver the barrier needs for a diverse range of products.
After a construction time of more than two years, Constantia Ecoflex Ahmedabad started test runs in September 2019. The plant is built on an area of 24,500 square meters. Currently, 50 people are working at the plant; the number is expected to triple by the second quarter of 2020.