UFlex, in flexible packaging material solution and polymer science company, has announced its initiative to bring a sustainable change to its fold by setting up India’s first U-shaped paper straw manufacturing line for its aseptic liquid packaging business. The manufacturing line is being set up at its existing aseptic liquid packaging plant in Sanand, Gujarat.
By becoming India’s first and world’s fastest-speed line U–shaped paper straw manufacturing company, UFlex through its aseptic liquid packaging brand Asepto continues its efforts to create a sustainable and clean environment. The paper straw manufacturing line will boast of fully automated Dutch technology, offering a production capacity of approximately 2.4 billion straws annually.
The sizes available in U-Shape paper straws will be 145mm and 165mm which will be attached to and utilized for portion packs for juices and other beverages. UFlex paper straws will be food grade, moisture-resistant and made from sustainably sourced papers, which are 100% recyclable.
On the launch of the new line, Ashwani Sharma, president and chief executive officer, Aseptic Liquid Packaging Business, UFlex, said, “In the wake of prohibitions on the use of single-use plastic coming into force across the world, including Indian government upholding its decision to not exempt some plastic straws from the impending ban, this move by UFlex is not just significant but also timely. With the launch of U-shaped paper straws, we are ready to change the dynamics of the industry. We are constantly looking for strategic ways to improve the environmental performance of our products and create avenues for superior, convenient, and sustainable packaging. The line’s installation for ready-to-drink aseptic liquid packaging at our Sanand facility is a great example of our company’s commitment toward creating better and safer products for our future generations.”
“After the successful installation and commissioning, we aim to attain 100 million straw production in the first month and raise it to 200 million in the next couple of months. We aim to produce 2.4 billion straws annually. The aesthetics and quality of the product are at par with global standards,” he added.
UFlex-Asepto is importing the machinery and equipment from Tembo Paper, which is a leading European company with next-generation Dutch technology.On the announcement, Pierre Mousson, managing director, Tembo Paper, commented, “We are delighted to be partnering with UFlex Asepto to put up India’s first high-volume U-shape paper straw line. With global restrictions on single-use plastics changing, a long-term solution is urgently required. By combining our significant knowledge and strengths, we are enthusiastic to work together to promote and execute sustainable solutions. In the long run, this cooperation would carve out a significant position in the Indian market for mutual business success.”
Ashok Chaturvedi, chairman and managing director, UFlex, remarked, “Sustainability is one of the foundation pillars at UFlex, and we are witnessing our aseptic liquid packaging industry progressively moving towards more environmentally friendly initiatives. Therefore, our emphasis is strongly on ensuring the long-term viability of the entire value chain. The paper straws have created a huge impact in global markets, and we are expecting the Indian market to mirror similar sentiments. As a responsible packaging solutions corporation, we are committed to supporting our beverage customers globally and fulfilling consumer and regulatory needs by increasing the environmental performance of their packaging while reducing their carbon footprint. This is another step toward achieving our mega goal to go green.”
In FY2021, UFlex announced a doubling of its aseptic liquid packaging capacity to 7 billion packs per annum in Sanand. The second line of the expansion project which includes a flexo press is nearing completion and currently undergoing trial runs.
The latest paper-straw line initiative by UFlex will help the sustainability aspect of liquid packaging which for the most part uses a laminate that includes a layer of plastic and is difficult to recycle. The disposed liquid packaging laminate when suitably collected can be used to make a kind of compressed particle board.