The author interviewed Vinod Vazhapulli Managing Director of Skanem India, according to him Label is a window, through which a brand communicates with customers. It is the bridge that connects the brand owner with end users of products. In an evolving scenario, where change is recognised as the only constant, label may change in converting technologies, types of labels and process of application on products but yes, labels are there to stay. Without label there is no identity, it is an absolutely relevant part of all products. In a population that is young, growing in literacy with a fast-emerging organised retail culture, Indian consumers now enjoy shopping.

They pick and select products, read the label to assimilate information provided on the label before deciding on the purchase. So, label is here to stay, it may change in shape, type, and substrate it is made of. The larger part of labels in India are produced and converted using analogue printing technologies like letterpress, Flexographic printing, screen, offset, etc. This is undergoing a transformation and Skanem is committed to adopt new developments in label converting. Moving forward, their focus is to build a sustainable future by implementing Industry 4.0 and Lean Six Sigma, combined with a steady yet aggressive growth plan. Skanem India aims at moving from being one of the top players to “The Market Leader” in product decoration solutions in India.

Skanem India is a renowned organisation with a legacy of over 115 years in the Packaging industry as a part of Skanem AS founded in the Stavanger region of Norway producing from metal cans to labels. In 2012 Skanem invested into the then India’s largest label manufacturers Interlabels Mumbai and in 2014-2015 they acquired it 100%. 

They now operate out of four printing sites spread across India having their mother plant in Mumbai and other factories at Baddi, Delhi and Gauhati, with 250 permanent and one hundred temporary employees. They are equipped to cater to customers in every part of the country. In 2021 Skanem AS divested, they sold their eight factories namely- Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Poland, UK, and Thailand to MCC. They continue to be headquartered in Norway and now have operations in India Kenya and Europe. Divestment was done to reinvest in diversified businesses within the packaging arena. It was felt that European markets were somewhat saturated, and they saw a double-digit growth in India and Africa.

In Mumbai, their investment in HP Indigo label press provides them with digital prowess that enables their customers to reach new heights with their marketing campaigns. At the same time, it enables them to fulfil the needs of budding customers (Start-ups) with shorter runs. Skanem would like to explore possibilities in packaging, by way of acquisitions or otherwise. they currently plan to use the present set up for flexible packaging and cartons and consider upgrading existing digital capabilities. Path breaking innovative products on digital which will bring in more business and need more investment are a part of future plans. What could not be done with analogue alone, will be achieved with digital, giving solutions to try test marketing with shorter runs for which analogue has limitations. Vinod Vazhapuli, the Skanem India Managing director adds, “Skanem will be hyper aggressive to expand in big way to increase our portfolio in labels, expand in flexo with improved, enhanced and technically advanced capabilities. As for digital, we will invest in more, to offer advanced and innovative solutions. With these capabilities we will be able to put heart and mind into labels.”

Vinod Vazhapulli is a qualified Mechanical Engineer with experience of over 23 years in industries like Automotive; Pharma Engineering; Tooling; Textile Engineering; Printing & Labelling. He has in the past, handled various international markets like USA, Canada, Mexico & Central America, Asia Pacific, Australia / New Zealand, Latin America, Europe. He has held P&L responsibility in the capacity of a Business Head, then as the CEO of an NSE/BSE Listed Manufacturing company and the Director of a UK company alongside, for a period of 2 Years and now the Managing Director of Skanem India. During his professional career, he has been bestowed with “Exemplary Leadership” award by ABP News, the Thought leadership & World Quality congress & Yes Bank, for the year 2018 under the Manufacturing segment; Featured and Ranked 35th & 32nd in the Power100 List of one hundred Most Influential Leaders in Print & Packaging Industry in India for the year 2020 & 2021, respectively. He was awarded, the Indian Achievers Award for excellence, leadership & innovation in Print & Packaging industry for the year 2021. He was a part of two Patent submissions in the field of Surface finish and Metallurgy. He was also the part of National committee for Capital Goods & Engineering of both CII (Confederation of Indian Industries) & FICCI (Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industries), two of the most important and powerful Industrial associations in India, during the year 2017, as part of his professional journey. Vinod worked in Skanem for a year in 2016, heading the machines business (label applicators) as VP and Business head. In between, after a stint in Indian Card Clothing LTD. as their CEO, he returned to Skanem in 2019 as the Managing Director.

Commenting further on Skanem’s digital indulgence Vinod stresses that they are always abreast with modern technologies and as for now, digital for them is the one that enables them to produce smart labels. They are convinced that smart labels educate customers as they possess virtual reality to communicate which the customers enjoy. In lighter vein Vinod expresses an example, that a whiskey connoisseur would always like to read the label to find information on labels as to where the product was distilled and what kind of casks were used to mature and whether it is a blend or a single malt. Similarly, a wine label tells all what a wine lover needs to know regarding the types of grapes used, the region they come from, the year of production and a lot more information. Digital label printing gives that window of opportunity to cater to such demanding connect with the end consumer. Digitally printed labels are different from analogue converted ones which are non-interactive, to being interactive labels.

Such digitalisation, to variably print and communicate is ably provided by the digital label presses. Skanem was one of the first investors in an HP Indigo label press, “We were very first HP Customer” says Vinod. With the meaningful smile he says, “we look forward to HP giving us a good deal for the next HP Indigo.” Skanem’s experience with HP Indigo label press has been good, it gave them an edge with print buyers when they explained their enhanced capabilities. They have the flexo label presses but additionally with HP, it certainly helps to impress upon the customer about enhanced capabilities like short runs, customisation, immediate delivery runs, all of this has helped augment their business.

Cost is a deterrent but the ability to produce special types of labels does bring better realisation. They are sure that in coming times the true potential of the HP machine will become more evident. A specific example is Dettol label campaign, celebrating the covid warriors, done during the pandemic. Even though there was non-preparedness and manpower shortage, the job had to be done in specific period. It was because of digital capabilities they could run three million labels within span of 10 to 12 days. Without HP, they say, it was not possible. It was a noble gesture by the brand owners, and Skanem substantiated it by delivering in time because of digital capabilities. It enhanced the brand owner’s emotional connect with their customer. Indians are very emotional and the sacrificed space on labels for a human cause, narrating touching stories was satisfying and well received by consumers, enhancing brand value. Unprecedented price rise, shortages, and the war in Ukraine, created an imperative need for just in time deliveries and customisation plus the generational differences as well, drove the need for digital presses.

Skanem Management

Skanem endeavours to educate customers in appealing to the conscience and emotional quotient of people to deliver to their aspirations. Multinationals want large volumes, just in time deliveries, along with consistency. They talk about sustainability, circular economy, and carbon footprints while the start-ups need support in smaller quantities, they want to add different information, pictures and motifs with digital capabilities be delivered as per needs. Skanem as a globally responsible corporate try to add value to the products that they supply to their digitally printed label customers, both the large and small. The company has own plans and systems to support them for these important issues. Digital provides opportunity to produce small run of labels to test market products before going in for mass production. It complements analogue, when one is successful with test marketing and volumes increase, they can switch over to analogue. Typical customer for digital labels, are from industries like tyre, agro chemicals, dietary supplements, cosmetics, etc.

The Indian population of 1.5 billion people is largely young, adding up to almost 60% of them in the productive working age. With change in the joint family system, more and more young working people are living separate from families and eating out or trying to have ready to heat and eat meals, a segment that is bound to grow exponentially. This segment will give a definite fillip to digitally printed labels demand.

Today’s youth have entrepreneurial urges and they are setting up start-ups that need short runs, they just want to do things differently, differentiate their products segment wise from giant brands, by the way they present them, informing users about carbon footprints, organic nature, and unique packages with short, personalised, and variable runs. Skanem finds the HP Indigo press as the perfect equipment to support these young entrepreneurs and provide them the “wings of hope.”

Written by Harveer Sahni Chairman Weldon Celloplast Limited New Delhi July 2022

Label Manufacturers of India (LMAI) creates a unique event

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Harveer Sahni


Weldon Celloplast Limited

304, 3rd Floor,

9/2 East Patel Nagar,

New Delhi-110008 India

Telephone: +91 11 25740089

email: website:


Some years ago, my younger son ran a restaurant in Gurgaon. We would regularly have supplies delivered to us. One day a consignment of beverages came from Coca Cola routed through their distributor. Out of the many cases, there was only one case of Minute Maid Juice. When the case, that was neatly closed and taped, opened; we were surprised that one bottle that looked sealed with a pilfer proof cap was containing turbid water.

It was difficult for us to believe a company of such repute would supply a carton with one bottle of dirty water instead of juice. We complained and promptly their marketing manager visited us. On closer scrutiny he observed that the pilfer proof cap had ben opened and the tape on the carton had carefully been peeled off and reapplied. He explained, that either in their own or the distributor’s warehouse or during transportation, someone who might be a habitual offender in tampering had carefully removed the tape, taken out a bottle and replaced it by filling with dirty water and retaped the carton. This was a case of PILFERAGE!

Pilferage is theft but that, at a smaller scale, particularly when either a part of the contents of a package are stolen and the package is left resealed with spurious or fake contents, or a smaller part of the cargo goes missing. Pilferage can take place at any point during the transport of the package from source to the end-recipients.

This can happen at the manufacturer’s warehouse, in transport, in distributor’s warehouse, at the buyer’s premises or from the shop shelves of retail outlets. The culprits indulging in pilferage can be company employees, truck drivers transporting the goods, the cargo handlers, or the shoppers in retail outlets. Compared to pilferage, theft is of a much bigger scale and a matter of concern as it has a substantial impact on revenues, recovering the loss by investigating teams or insurance is a time-consuming task that is cumbersome and a pressure on productive time one has for one’s business. Yet it is somewhat possible to recover through insurance. Pilferage being a smaller theft often gets overlooked because of a minimal value as compared to cost of the total consignments. Companies are hesitant to follow up on tracing in such cases because the cost of that would be more than the cost of the loss due to the small theft. Years ago, while visiting a distributor of Nestle in remote part of North Indian state of Himachal Pradesh, close to China border. I noticed that the dealer was getting truck loads of Maggie noodles delivered to him, he was weighing all cartons and separating a few. The separated cartons on enquiry, I understood had been pilfered. The distributor was quite calm about it and said the truck drivers on the way when they are hungry, they steal a few packets of Maggie noodles, and we cannot  control it. We just calculate the number of packets missing and the company replaces them in the next consignment. The small size of this theft is an irritant but the widespread presence of this makes Pilferage a menace.

Since Pilferage does not come to notice, companies are bound to absorb these losses. Jewelry, fashion goods, electronics, beverages & food, pharmaceuticals, etc. are items that are highly impacted. As per market studies a lot of pilferage happens in logistics sector. According to McKinsey report “Around USD 11 billion is lost each year due to theft in India’s logistics network”.

Pilferage and Shrinkage are more or less the same thing. Shrinkage is generally referred to happenings including pilferage, which cause the business to lose money. The Global Retail Theft Barometer, which tracks retail shrinkage in 43 countries, shows that India has the highest rates of shrinkage in the world. The country’s retail industry reported shrinkage of 2.38 per cent of the total inventory. The total Indian retail market size is estimated by various agencies at about 900billion US Dollars. By modest estimates, the pilferage can be calculated at over 900 million US Dollars. In India more than 30% of pilferage is attributed to shoplifting alone.

Types of Pilferage:

Most of the pilferage takes place in the warehouses, which can be those of the manufacturers, their distributors, the logistic companies or the buyer’s own stock points. Bigger cartons that have been taped by manufacturers are slit with a blade, the carton is opened, and a part of the merchandise is removed and replaced by some bogus item of similar weight. The carton is then closed, and a similar tape is reapplied making it difficult for anyone to assess the pilferage. Shop shelves in organized retail are also a target to clever shoplifters or even store staff. There have been instances whereby even duty-free shops have also been facing pilferage. In one particular incident, I was in London visiting my brother-in-law who had also just returned from Dubai and was carrying a bottle of Johnnie Walker Black Label whiskey. When he opened the carton, it was shocking to see that instead of the square shaped Johnnie Walker bottle, there was another bottle filled with water and wrapped with tissue paper to restrict moving of the bottle in the carton. Obviously, it is an inside staff job.

It is possible the contents may have been consumed before them leaving the duty-free premises. Pilferage in transit by drivers, couriers, or other logistic staff is widespread practice. All those who indulge in pilferage have honed skills to open and reclose the packages. There are instances where shoppers remove barcode sticker of a cheaper item and affix on a costlier product. They que in at a cash counter with rush and  just pass off with a cart full of other things as well. Petty items go undetected like smaller stationery items or candies and chocolates which children may consume inside while shopping.

With fast growing size of retail ecommerce and increasing patronage, companies continue to find ways to counter this menace. Fraudsters on the other hand are no less innovative in finding ways to steal from the packages of unsuspecting consumers. Theft or pilferage of mobiles, fashion items and food products are some of the preferences of the pilferers. A couple of years back Flipkart has introduced an innovative “anti-theft” packaging to secure its high net and luxury goods from in-transit theft and tampering. Logistic companies facing the heat due to pilferage have been tightening their security to curtail this menace. Retails stores resort to IT solutions like CCTV cameras, track and trace barcodes or RFID labels. This may reduce the impact but as time progresses, the culprits find new ways to bypass the security or tracing mechanisms.

Innovations in packaging have been created to detect and deter pilferage, however it is an imperative that security be created in packaging must be an ongoing process. Highly decorated  multi-colour packaging is considered as great marketing tool for leading brands but then for the thieves it is easy to identify the goods inside and plan pilferage. For this reason, at least for ecommerce, plain packaging without  details of content inside is considered better. Water remoistenable paper tape can be a good alternate to combat package theft as the package cannot be opened without leaving evidence of tampering. Plastic packaging tapes (polypropylene tapes) do not adhere well to high recycled content cartons, they are easy to open and re-close. While the pressure sensitive tape adhesive becomes soft with heat and hardens to fall off in extremely cold temperatures, on the contrary the water-activated Tape is not affected by extreme hot or cold temperatures and can bond to cartons in dirty/dusty environments. Additional strength in paper is achieved by using reinforced paper tapes.

It would not be out of place to trace the journey of the pilfered items. It would be interesting to study the reasons why people resort to pilferage. One big reason could be poverty, they would steal and then sell at shops of those unscrupulous shopkeepers who act like pawn shops. Some time back the police raided central Delhi’s Gaffar Market in Karol Bagh, renowned for selling cheaper mobiles and accessories.

It was realized all stolen mobile phones, batteries and accessories were bought by many of the shopkeepers there and sold at highly reduced prices. The market flourished and became very popular. Poverty also drives them to achieve the “me too” need for possessing the items they cannot afford. Other times it could be an imperative requirement of their household. Then there maybe those employees who might steel after being convinced that they are not being adequately compensated by their employers and it is their right to take what they need. Then there are those who will not miss an opportunity when it comes their way to pilfer and steel easy to conceal small size items like makeup, clothing, foodstuff and electronics. Finally, there are those adventure or compulsive thieves who get sinister pleasure out of pilfering, stealing or shoplifting. These maybe some well-to-do persons who can otherwise afford to buy the merchandise. It apparently is a psychiatric issue with them.

I am not sure if it is possible, but it would be interesting if a package is designed  such that once opened it will self-destruct. In times when the electronics are advancing rapidly, a RFID circuit can be built in a label or the tape such that when it is cut or destroyed it gives a signal or it will show up on scanning. In high value goods an over wrap with security features can become a deterrent. Another way to counter this menace could be to use Track and trace labels that are scanned, and the cartons weighed at every inward and outward point to provide substantial information regarding pilferage.

Pilferage, shrinkage and theft are an age-old menace that has always existed. Companies keep finding ways to deter such activities but then people who indulge are also innovative and find ways to tamper. In case of duplication it is often said, “if someone can make it, someone can fake it.” In case of pilferage I would say, “If you can seal it there will be someone who can steal it.”

Written by Harveer Sahni, Chairman Weldon Celloplast Ltd. New Delhi India. June 2022

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Fedrigoni Self-Adhesives has launched a new range of Open & Close products, including polypropylene and polyethylene films with a top-performing removable adhesive for high tear resistance, clean removability, good conformability, and reliability.

The new range is designed for hand wipes, baby wipes, cosmetic wipes, household wipes and more – making opening easier, and ensuring secure product closure.

‘The latest market trends suggest adopting a mono-material approach (PE or BOPP) for both the flex packs and the Open & Close labels,’ said Melissa Harton, marketing manager for North America at Fedrigoni. ‘Our range of PE and BOPP constructions ensures full compatibility with this trend for soft and semi-rigid Open & Close labels. Thanks to the adhesive technology and film thicker facestocks, semi-rigid Open & Close labels are a more sustainable alternative to rigid plastic lids that are widely used by this application. Being thinner and lighter, they also reduce the quantity of waste.’

To make semi-rigid Open & Close labels more similar to rigid plastic lids, Fedrigoni Self-Adhesives has developed a patent that allows the label to remain open during use to facilitate the removal of the wet wipes from the flexible packaging. 

Combining new mono-materials for semi-rigid labels with the company’s patented multi-layer Open & Close labels makes this a unique offer for the market. Just like a rigid plastic lid, this label stays open during use, making removing the product from the packaging easier. News Courtesy Labelsandlabeling

Sustainability is firmly anchored in LEONHARD KURZ’s corporate strategy – including when it comes to the recyclability of materials. After all, the collection, processing, and recycling of raw materials can conserve resources and reduce CO2 emissions. In order to assess the recyclability of paper and cardboard packaging that bears TRUSTCONCEPT® security labels, the manufacturer of decorative and functional coatings joined forces with Papiertechnische Stiftung (PTS) and INGEDE e.V. and carried out two joint studies. The results showed that the security labels do not impact the recyclability of paper and cardboard packaging and are therefore a reliable and sustainable solution. Customers who rely on TRUSTCONCEPT® labels not only protect their products efficiently against counterfeiting and manipulation, but also have the certainty that the security label does not impair the recyclability of their outer packaging. “Environmental protection is a top priority at KURZ. So we are delighted that these test results clearly show that, in addition to outstanding product and brand protection, we can offer our customers proven additional and lasting added value” says Dr. Matthias Kehrer, R&D Chemist at LEONHARD KURZ.

Two studies with strong evidence

As part of the studies, both PTS and INGEDE tested a sample box with a paper label and a box with a PET label. In each case, the packaging as a whole was tested. PTS’ tests focused on the suitability of the material to produce high-quality recycled paper without visual contamination or adhesive residues. The tests carried out confirmed that packaging and printed products made of paper or cardboard and decorated with TRUSTCONCEPT® paper and/or plastic labels can be recycled in household recycling schemes.

In separate tests, the non-profit association INGEDE focused on the ease of removal of the adhesive used in the security labels. Here, too, the TRUSTCONCEPT® labels achieved a positive result, as Axel Fischer, Head of Public Relations at INGEDE, confirms: “The outcome of the TRUSTCONCEPT® security label test series follows the previous positive results we achieved with a number of different KURZ products.”

Consumers trust TRUSTCONCEPT®

Self-adhesive paper labels and PET labels from TRUSTCONCEPT® offer reliable protection and have both a visual and a mechanical function: On the one hand, they prove the authenticity of a product through security features, and on the other hand, they serve as a seal or first-opening protection. Consumers can thus quickly and easily recognize if they are dealing with an original product and whether it is undamaged. 

Konica Minolta has launched Accurioshine 3600 digital embellishment press for sensory print applications.

The Accurioshine 3600 digital print embellishment press has been designed to offer digital special effects for commercial printing, finishing, and packaging industries. This new press utilizes key components of the Jetvarnish technology – including the AIS SmartScanner registration system.  

The new machine allows printers, finishers and converters to have an in-house full production and prototyping print embellishment system without screens, dies or plates. The all-purpose patented varnish formula allows both flat 2D Spot UV highlighting and sculptured 3D raised special effects on a wide range of substrate stocks and up to 450gsm, from the offset and digital inks to lamination films and aqueous coatings.    The Accurioshine 3600 offers decorative embellishments on all commercial and in-plant applications including booklets, brochures, business cards, mail pieces, and book covers, sheet-fed labels, small folding cartons, retail display signs and posters. It comes with automatic inkjet head cleaning technology. 

With its UV- and water-based deinking primers for labels and sleeves, Siegwerk offers validated solutions for a safe and economic deinking of energy cured ink systems that have been so far considered as non-deinkable. This sets new norms to drive deinking as industry standard and further improve recyclability & circularity of plastic packaging.

Siegwerk, one of the leading global providers of printing inks and coatings for packaging applications and labels, today announced its most recent development for an improved deinking especially for rigid plastic packaging which is adding a substantial value to industrial mechanical recycling. 

Beside the already existing water-based deinking primer (officially approved by The Association of Plastic Recyclers (APR)) Siegwerk is now offering an UV-curing deinking primer that is suitable for pressure sensitive and wrap around labels, and shrink sleeves made of Polyolefin- and Polyester-based materials. This development closes a gap as it now allows an inline printing of deinkable materials in a 100% UV-Flexo press setup. 

Today, consumers expect higher recycling levels of plastic packaging where a meaningful reuse of the recycled material is mandatory instead of wasting the material into downcycling streams. This sustainability-conscious demand has driven brand owners to rethink their packaging to switch to 100% recyclable packaging in the near future. “Achieving this 100% packaging circularity requires a sufficient and consistent quality of recyclates,” explains Ralf Leineweber, Head of Global Technology Development at Siegwerk. In mechanical recycling as the today’s only established industrial recycling process, deinking of printed packaging material is one – if not the most – viable technology to meet this requirement. Only deinking can bring here clean and clear recyclates with a suitable quality back into the packaging stream to consequently reduce the need of more virgin plastic material. “That’s why we are committed to support customers with innovative solutions facilitating deinking and thus contribute to establish deinking as industry standard further improving packaging recyclability and circularity,” adds Guido Lander, Vice President Narrow Web EMEA at Siegwerk.

To integrate deinking into the recycling process, recyclers need to implement a hot washing step first, if not already existing. Here, it is critical that the deinking does not negatively impact the recycling process for example by contaminating the wash water. Besides, the lower the needed washing temperature for deinking the better – because this not only saves energy but also costs. More and more recyclers focusing on rigid plastic packaging such as trays, cups and plastic containers are implementing hot washing processes to improve the quality of their recyclates which enables an easy and seamless integration of a deinking step for a broad range of packaging materials. “We consider deinking primers as a key lever for smart deinking of crosslinked ink systems especially at low washing temperatures  for sleeves, labels and other printed decoration for rigid plastic packaging,” explains Leineweber.

Siegwerk’s deinking primers enable a smooth and reliable deinking at any hot washing condition currently used in the recycling industry. They are compliant with different film materials like cPET, PE or PP and do not require the use of a dedicated ink series to keep complexity for users rather low. Besides, any printing process can be used in combination with our deinking primer portfolio – from flexo, offset and screen printing to foiling, metallic and other decorative embellishments. With its UV-curing deinking primer, the company especially offers a solution for converters who are using a pure UV flexo press and are not able to process a water-based primer. This primer shows best compatibility with UV-curing inks facilitating quantitative deinking according to the washing protocols of EPBP and APR. Applied under bleeding resistant UV-cured ink layers, the primer layer dissolves in the hot washing process and thus enables the generation of high-quality colorless recyclates, while the non-bleeding ink formulations ensure a clean and reusable washing solution.

Siegwerk is currently engaged in various deinking projects for all kind of rigid packaging solutions with in-mold and pressure sensitive labels as well as for direct printed rigid containers. “The greatest opportunities to improve plastic recycling in line with a circular economy obviously lay in areas where hot washing already became a standard step within the recycling process, such as in the PET bottle 2 bottle recycling,” adds Ralf Leineweber. Siegwerk has for example developed deinking technologies for shrink sleeves allowing a 100% recyclability of bottle and sleeve in food contact grade quality. Furthermore, the ink expert sees excellent opportunities to recover high-quality recyclates from postindustrial flexible packaging waste via deinking. Post-consumer waste is supposed to follow as well at a certain time due to its volume related importance.

Next to deinking primers, printing inks and coatings, Siegwerk also offers its customers technical services along the value chain to support an optimized and consistent deinking process. The company can also provide optimized deinking chemistry based on a systematic development to ensure fast deinking resulting in clean flakes with almost virgin quality of the recyclate. “Deinking is not a product for us, it is a “Full-Service Offering” where everything needs tie together,” says Lander. “That’s why we follow a holistic approach and also offer the execution of deinking tests according to the most common washing protocols in our specialized laboratories.” Based on its deinking expertise, Siegwerk can guide customers through the entire process, from the unprinted substrate to the deinked and recycled packaging material, finally helping to optimize plastic packaging recycling in line with a circular economy.

SABIC, a global leader in the chemical industry, has joined an innovative project with value chain partners to help UPM Raflatac launch the world’s first packaging label materials made from SABIC® certified circular polypropylene (PP) based on advanced recycled ocean bound plastic (OBP). The label materials are marketed under the UPM Raflatac Ocean Action trademark.

“We are proud to offer our customers another more sustainable choice through the advanced recycling of used plastic that could otherwise end up in our rivers and oceans,” adds Lada Kurelec, General Manager PP, PET, PS, PVC, PU & Elastomers Businesses for Petrochemicals at SABIC. “These labels containing ocean bound plastic connect with our TRUCIRCLE program of circular solutions designed to help reduce plastic waste, mitigate fossil depletion and protect our planet.”

Ocean bound plastic is abandoned plastic waste found in areas up to 50 km inland from waterways that may eventually be washed into the ocean by rainfall, rivers or tides. Zero Plastic Oceans, a non-governmental organization dedicated to addressing plastic pollution issues, has estimated that OBP from uncontrolled waste disposal accounts for 80 percent of marine plastic litter.

”The new innovative Ocean Action label material is the latest step in our beyond fossils journey. It does not only help prevent the plastic waste from ending up in the oceans but also offers brand owners the possibility to meet their recycled content targets for packaging. The Ocean Action label material is an easy-to-use drop-in solution created especially for food and cosmetics end-uses as it has exactly the same performance as the current fossil-based labels,” says EliisaLaurikainen, Business Development Manager from UPM Raflatac.

The OBP used in the project is recovered by local partners of HHI, a Malaysia based recycling company. The sustainable sourcing, proper collection and management of the OBP is certified by Zero Plastic Oceans and Control Union. HHI converts OBP into a pyrolysis oil by using advanced recycling, and SABIC uses this oil as an alternative feedstock to produce certified circular SABIC PP polymer for further processing to film by Taghleef. Then, UPM Raflatac produces the label material.

The plastic waste used in the process value chain of making Ocean Action label material is certified under the Zero Plastics Oceans program, and the final label material under ISCC PLUS. This means that the material flow is controlled and tracked from the ocean bound plastic to the final packaging following a set of predefined and transparent rules.

The Ocean Action label material is available as White and Clear Top Coated PP films with RP37, RF37, and RP74 adhesives and PET 23 PCR and glassine liners. These label materials are a perfect fit for fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG), such as household goods, personal care, packaged foods, and beverages. Since the certified circular PP from SABIC performs the same way as comparable fossil-based virgin PP, the switch to the OBP material solution required no changes to the film and label material manufacturing processes.

SABIC’s certified circular polymers form part of the company’s TRUCIRCLE portfolio and services for circular solutions. The offering also includes design for recyclability, mechanically recycled products, certified renewable polymers from bio-based feedstock and closed loop initiatives to recycle plastic back into high quality applications and help prevent valuable used plastics from becoming waste.

The acquisition will bolster GNO’s capabilities in Composite Systems Business

Grindwell Norton Ltd. (GNO), a Saint-Gobain Group company in India has completed the acquisition of PRS Permacel Pvt. Ltd., a manufacturer of specialty adhesive tape and label solutions, from the PRS Group, founded by the Premchand family in 1856. This acquisition will facilitate its seamless integration with GNO’s Composite Systems business unit.

PRS Permacel develops and markets a wide range of adhesive tape and thermal insulation solutions for the industrial, railways & metro, 2 wheelers and EV markets. The company has a manufacturing facility in Ambernath near Mumbai and employs 176 people.

EY and Allegro Capital advised GNO and the PRS Group respectively on this transaction. This acquisition is fully in line with Saint-Gobain’s “Grow & Impact” strategy and will strengthen the Group’s presence and accelerate its growth in Asia, in particular in India.


Worldwide leader in light and sustainable construction, Saint-Gobain designs, manufactures and distributes materials and services for the construction and industrial markets. Its integrated solutions for the renovation of public and private buildings, light construction and the decarbonization of construction and industry are developed through a continuous innovation process and provide sustainability and performance. The Group’s commitment is guided by its purpose, “MAKING THE WORLD A BETTER HOME”.

€44.1 billion in sales in 2021

167,000 employees, located in 75 countries committed to achieving Carbon Neutrality by 2050

A hiatus of 3 years had left the printing industry yearning for physical events. The 15th Printpack India was slated to be held from 3rd August 2021 onwards but due to continued perception of re-emergence of Corona virus, it was postponed to 26-30 May 2022. The industry has gone through traumatic time due to the pandemic and the difficulties faced thereafter due to rising raw material prices, shortages and increased freight rates. Recognising the need to support the printing fraternity, the governing Council of IPAMA led by Rakesh Sodhi as President, who are the organisers of this premier show, decided to offer the stands at much lower rates.

In his inaugural address Sodhi said, “In an effort to address the economic duress of our fellow industry colleagues and IPAMA members faced due to Covid and rising prices, we have on compassionate grounds provided space to all the exhibitors at highly subsidized rates to regain the lost momentum &  motivate the members of the industry. This has in turn resulted in an overwhelming response from the industry with participation at a grand scale from all exhibitors with over 25000 square meters of space sold. We are sure all visitors will benefit from all exhibits displayed as also from the live demos of running machines“. The opening day as is usual at major exhibitions have a lower footfall however due to the doubts of success in the aftermath of a pandemic, the lower attendance did give rise to the fear that this show may lack in attendance. On the following day two of the show, the crowds started pouring in from all over the country making it a vibrant successful show. The printing fraternity across the entire supply chain gave resounding “Thumbs Up” to Printpack India!

A total of 487 exhibitors displayed their wares, materials and services. The exhibitors were not only limited to conventional printing and converting but came from diverse segments of printing and packaging that included Digital printing, Embellishing, high speed Web printing and Converting, Finishing equipment, Inspection systems, Tooling, IT related support systems, Corrugation, Flexible packaging, sustainable options for packaging like paper bags, Paper Stationery and a lot more. Material suppliers included those of Paper, Films, Embellishing and other Foils, Inks, Adhesives, Varnishes, coatings, etc. The whole show was spread over 10 halls with hall 5 and 7 solely dedicated to the labels industry. The images of my walk through the show are displayed below in two parts, first in the labels dedicated area and the second part is in the rest of the show.

The labels Area and more

It was heartwarming to see printers from all over the country visiting the show. They exhibited their firm resolve to get back to exhibitions, acquire knowledge and plan expansion. What was missed is the foreign running presses at this show. However, despite the challenging situation and uncertainties in mind, leading Indian press manufacturers who have in recent times upgraded and taken their equipment to international levels,  were there with their running presses.

Faridabad, Haryana head quartered press manufacturer Multitec’s patriarch Shanti Pal Ahuja was conferred the lifetime achievement award at the inaugural function for the exhibition. They displayed their all servo E3 label and packaging press. Shanti Pal Ahuja’s son Amit Ahuja who heads Multitec was at the show, supported by his wife Ashima. More on Multitec is available on this blog at

UV Graphic Technologies led by Abhay Datta has made giant strides in their label Press and related machines in recent times. They displayed their press which attracted the interest of leading label printers in the country. The excellent stand display with a well-stocked bar reminded one of the European shows which are greatly missed due to the hiatus. On display was their Ultra flex UFO-450 10 colour full servo LED UV combo film and label press using 42 servo drives. Also on display were a host of other post press equipment and ancillary equipment. Their story is available on this blog at

Ashish Patel led Shri Export Import displayed  the AKO label press made in China which they eventually plan to manufacture in India.

Ahmedabad based R K label Printing Machinery also displayed a host of their label presses and other equipment

Other press manufacturers who had stands without running presses include Gallus/Heidelberg, Alliance and Bobst. Digital printing equipment manufacturers included HP Indigo at the Technova stand, Konica Minolta, Monotech, Xerox, etc.

I now share my walk through the show;

Ranesh Bajaj and Kiran Prayagi colour Management Specialist at the Vinsak Stand

Written and compiled by Harveer Sahni, Chairman Weldon Celloplast Ltd. New Delhi, Author and mentor and June 2022