In the last issue I had dwelled on the need for printers to go green. It is definitely not going to be long before government regulations on waste management and environment issues in self adhesive label industry get more stringent. It will not be possible anymore to send your label waste to the landfill or burn it. On March 13, 2010, The Global Label Associations Summit was held in Barcelona, Spain. LMAI(Label manufacturers association of India) is also a member of the L8, the prestigious group of leading world label associations. In a joint statement they endorsed the industry’s commitment to a more sustainable and environmental responsible future and to supporting ongoing industry measures to further reduce the environmental impact of labels, encourage more sustainable label materials and production processes, meet changing industry and customer recycling targets, and to working towards the continued reduction of label waste. Among the many measures that global label industry associations, suppliers and converters are already targeting are:

  • The promotion and encouragement of the use of environmental management and audit systems (ISO 14001, EMAS, LIFE) in the label industry
  • Enhancing measures to inform, educate and support label producers in meeting current and future label environmental and sustainability targets
  • Supporting the use of materials and schemes that encourage sustainable and renewable resources, such as FSC, PEFC or SFI
  • Continued industry development of solutions to maximize cost-effective recovery and recycling of self-adhesive labelstock waste
  • Highlighting the development and use of thinner, lighter label materials
  • Working towards further reduction in the amount of landfill waste and higher recovery and recycling rates

Having a more prominent industry voice and input into global government, brand owner, packaging and related organizations that are currently impacting on environment and sustainability issues relating to labels and label usage. Mike Fairley, the renowned Label Guru and Director Strategic Development at the Labels Group Tarsus, was the keynote speaker at the summit. Speaking on “Global Industry Challenges and Opportunities” he spoke on the need for key label buyers and specifiers consisting of global brand owners and retail groups, to be the driving force. The issue of waste management has also started to bother some of the leading label printers of India. In the last couple of weeks following publication of my last column in this magazine, I have had calls from some of the printers asking about ways how to dispose the waste as their local administration is making it more and more difficult and also expensive to attend to this problem. Our local industry association LMAI also needs to step in on the issue and arrange brainstorming sessions in various parts of the country to evolve a strategy on this. I am sure there will be government support and funding on such initiatives. As for LMAI, the association is putting its act together and working. On 26th of March 2010 they held a seminar on intellectual property rights at Aurangabad in association with MSME. The Young Managers Club of FINAT also met in Barcelona on the sidelines of the Global Label Associations Summit. A Young Managers Board had meanwhile been elected that was currently in the process of establishing a programme of networking, management exchange and education for the coming years. About half of the currently 55 YMC members were from outside Europe, mainly India. The Indian association LMAI had meanwhile informed FINAT that they were in the process of creating a similar Young Managers Club. Vivek Kapoor, President LMAI has in the meanwhile taken steps in this direction. He has designated Pawandeep Sahni, member FINAT YMC Board to lead the initiative to form Young Manager’s Club at LMAI. LMAI is also planning to have meets and seminars on costing and technical ugradation. Plans are also afoot to organise a conference and networking event for the label industry. Very soon the process for LMAI awards will be initiated. This year looks to be more interesting in the field of newer technologies. Last time when this competition was held there were categories where there were no or very little participation but in the interim period there have been investments made especially in digital printing and booklet labels. We expect more active participation. The LMAI also needs to increase membership so that representation is widespread and the association has true national presence.Labeltech 2010, a label exhibition, was held at Mumbai recently. Label Planet/Intergraphics was the only stand showcasing working label presses. Other then this, the show was quite small and the visitors from the label industry were a disillusioned lot. This show was held along with Intelpack, which is a packaging show and had a fair participation. However this was not of interest to label printers who travelled long distances to visit. Printers, suppliers and press suppliers felt that the shows need to be more professionally and efficiently organized. The shows also need to be spaced such that there is only one big good quality show per year. With industry getting more and more competitive, people feel, too many shows add up unnecessary travel expenses as also put a huge pressure on valuable time. Moreover if the show is not up to the mark, the expense and time goes waste.
Written by Harveer Sahni, Managing Director, Weldon Celloplast Limited, New Delhi-110008