NEW DELHI: The Rs 6,100 crore turnover ITC Paperboards & Speciality Papers Division is foraying into new speciality papers to replace plastic packaging amidst growing consumer awareness on climate change-the consumer response to the Covid pandemic is also helping spur the change. Said Vadiraj Kulkarni, CEO of ITC’s PSPD, “Our new range of products meant for the delivery and food serving markets or as take-away to replace plastics are doing well as consumer preferences are changing environmental consciousness as well as greater stress on hygiene and contactless delivery during these times has been a help.”
ITC has come up with a range of products called Filopack, Fuilobev, and Filoserve with water, oil, and grease resistant properties meant for food and beverage packaging, keeping in mind that Indian cuisine has a greater oil and grease content than most others. It has also come up with paper bowls-branded Indobowl- that can replace plastic containers.
“We see the growth of ecommerce, takeaways, and the need for environmentally friendly packaging spurring business opportunities for us,” said Kulkarni. The division has also developed a ‘Green Stiffener’ to replace Low Density Polyethylene (LDPE) used i n making antifung a l soap wraps. Studies indicate that the ecofriendly packaging industry will grow at a compounded annual growth rate of 7.5 per cent between 2020-2025.
Piggybacking on this expectation, ITC has already announced that it will be investing around `2,500 crore into the paper and paperboard business and expand capacity to 1 mt by 2025. Some `2,000 crore, or 80 per cent of the money, would go into expanding its facilities at Bhadrachalam in Telengana.