Packaging stalwarts brainstorm at Metal Container Manufacturers’ Association (MCMA) seminar

Sustainable packaging- Metal Containers
Packaging stalwarts brainstorm at Metal Container Manufacturers’ Association (MCMA) seminar

The need to be sustainable has affected all branches of the food sector. The packaging industry is not far behind. With the rise in consumers' healthy choices, the interest in having foods packed sustainably is imminent. Hence, metal container manufacturers are pulling up their socks and putting their heart into propagating metal as a choice of packaging that is recyclable and versatile.

Metal Container Manufacturers' Association (MCMA) organized the seminar on 'Sustainable Packaging - Metal Containers' concurrent to the Pac MechEx trade fair on 10 June 2022 at Bombay Exhibition Center, Mumbai.

MCMA is a primary organization that represents the interests of companies involved in producing metal containers, packaging and allied components. It is committed to supporting its members in identifying, measuring, controlling and minimizing any impact arising from the manufacture and use of metal packaging. The association actively works towards forming and implementing standards for the necessary raw materials, finished goods and allied products of the Metal Packaging industry in India while working hand in hand with the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) and government departments.

Commenting on the importance of sustainability, Sanjay Bhatia, president of MCMA, said, "Mahatma Gandhi rightly said that earth provides enough for everyone's need but not enough for everyone's greed. The earth is our only home, and we are responsible for protecting it at all costs if we have to sustain ourselves on this planet. Perhaps the greatest economic opportunity of the 21st century could be found in green technology. Sustainable development is the path to a better future."

Further explaining the importance of metal as a packaging material, he said, "Metal can provide a maximum barrier to oxygen, bacteria, dust, humidity and rodents as compared to plastic and glass. Steel cans are easily stored, handled, stacked and virtually impossible to spill or break."

The chief guest at the event, Preeti Chaudhary, director of the Western region at FSSAI supported the use of metal packaging for foods and said, "At FSSAI, we look for three things in packaging- sustainability, suitability and safety. Metal container is a material that is sustainable even beyond the shelf life and can extend the product's shelf life. Most of the commodities can be filled in it in a sustainable and safe way. I think the first job of this forum should be to identify articles where metal containers can be used."

Global ambassador of the World Packaging Organization, AVPS Chakravarthi, said, “Metal packaging is 100% recyclable and metals cans are now 46% lighter in weight than they used to be in the 90s. We need to conduct more of such seminars for awareness so that people get to know the facts of this industry.”

Dr K.U Metherkar, FSSAI deputy director for West region explained the regulatory aspects with special reference to food and metal packaging.

Santosh Panda, senior packaging manager at Britannia industries Bangalore, highlighted that only 9% of the plastic is recycled, whereas 75% goes to oceans and landfills, which is why they are considering using metal packaging for their products.

Damien Fourcade, manager sustainability metals, Henkel joined from France through a video conference, explained the sustainability trends in metal packaging, and said, “We want to be leaders in sustainability along with innovation and digitalization. We believe we have a role to play in the changing world. Through technology, we will reduce the emissions, resources consumed, ensuring the highest safety standards and all these promises are backed by a 100% end-to-end transparency.”

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