Flexible packaging major Uflex would invest Rs 1,000 crore over the next two years to enhance capacity and add value to its products for wider applications spanning liquid and granular materials, a top company official said.
"As part of our growth plans, we propose to invest Rs 1,000 crore in the next two years to expand capacity and product range for packaging semi-liquids and liquid materials and powder and granular materials," Uflex chairman and managing director Ashok Chaturvedi told IANS in an e-mail interview.
The Noida-based multinational, with production plants in India, Dubai, Egypt, Mexico, Poland and the US and markets in 85 countries worldwide, makes polyester chips, plastic films, laminates, inks and adhesives for packaging liquid and solid goods.
"We are setting new plants and more assembly lines at new locations in India and overseas for making a range of new and value added products to our global customers," Chaturvedi asserted.
Besides plants at Noida in Uttar Pradesh near Delhi, Jammu and in Malanpur in Bhind district of Madhya Pradesh, the 32-year-old firm is setting up an asceptic plant at Sanand in Gujarat to pack liquid products at Rs 550 crore in first phase.
"When fully commissioned in phases over the next two-three years, the Sanand plant will employ about 3,000 people and 90 per cent of its production will be to meet domestic demand," Chaturvedi noted.
Among its Indian and global customers across 140 countries are P&G, PepsiCo, Tata Global, Mondelez, L' Oreal, Britannia, Haldiram, Amul, Kimberly Clark, Ferro Rocher, Perfetti, GSK, Nestle, Agrotech Foods, Coca Cola, Wrigley and Johnson & Johnson.
The company recently unveiled a range of inks, which are rub-scratch and crinkle resistance and offer good gloss and tape release.
"Similarly, our innovative moisture proof bag (Flex SafePack) protects moisture from entering into cement and prevents loss by withstanding harsh conditions for longer shelf life," Chaturvedi pointed out.
The company also developed technology to reprocess mixed plastic waste arising from production process and after customers refuse into articles for making durable plastic products.
"For instance, our world's first 8 micron film is suitable for conversion operations like printing, lamination, coating and metallization, with cost and material savings ranging from 33-47 per cent, which is beneficial to end-users," Chaturvedi said.
Noting that food wastage was as much a social problem as economic, Chaturvedi lamented that about 40 per cent of food valued at Rs 50,000 crore was wasted every year across the country for want of storage and packaging to protect and preserve.
"We have the ability to be a part of the solution by offering innovative solutions to extend shelf-life of products and keep them safe for a longer period," he claimed.
According to the Industry Council for Research and Packaging on the Environment (INCPEN), flexible packaging helps reduce food wastage to one per cent from three per cent by increasing its shelf life, especially of vegetables and dairy products.
"By extending the lifecycle of food and protecting it from foreign elements, smart and flexible packaging can ensure consumed products were safe and help in improving their sustainability," Chaturvedi added.