Container glass manufacturer AGI glaspac, the packaging products division of Hindustan Sanitaryware & Industries Limited Ltd, is investing about Rs 150 crore for upgrading technology at its two plants in Telangana.
This will allow the company to make light-weight and contemporary glass containers and consumer products, said Rrajesh K Khosla, its president and chief executive officer.
The company has been in operation since 1972. Its Bhongir unit has a capacity to melt 1,000 tonne per day and the one in the city at Borabanda has a capacity of 600 tonne per day. “We are using full capacity at both the units. We are investing about Rs 150 crore to upgrade technology. This will allow us to make lightweight and contemporary products, which are seeing a rise in demand,” he said adding the ongoing spend will be completed by April this year.
The company is also working to increase the use of recycled component to about 75 per cent gradually from the current 35 per cent. “We are hoping to up recycled component to about 50 to 60 per cent in two years. The recycling in the industry now is low mainly because glass containers are with consumers and getting them back into the system is not economical,” he said adding that consumers disposing them right can trigger an economic cycle.
“Glass is not dead. For instance, some plastic and stainless steel containers are prone to leaching effects. These concerns are forcing some to think on sustainable options,” said Khosla adding that many are looking at total cost involved including for disposal and recycling into account while selecting containers.
“There are some overlapping areas for plastic and glass. There is possibility some people will shift for glass and we will continuously try to up this percentage,” he said adding glass seeing innovation on design, on weight, colouring and aesthetics is also aiding in demand rising.
The company is working with a few international firms for recycling the bottles in the beverage segments. “We can use some additives that will make a container anti-bacterial. We are working on this. In times to come, there is a possibility of technology also coming into play. The glass containers can have a QR code or a chip which can tell if the contents in them have expired or indicate where they are in the recycling chain. These are just concepts as of now and no such products exist now,” said Khosla.
The company employs about 3,500 people directly and 10,000 indirectly. It now counts beer and liquor manufacturers, pharma manufacturers, food players, soft drinks and others as its clients. Indian apart, it ships products to North America, Europe, Africa as well as APAC regions.