Hyderabad: Ball Beverage Packaging is calling for sustainable policy initiatives/measures that encourage the usage of aluminum packaging to reduce the harmful effects of usage of bottles in India across product categories. The company contends, while certain States have already made a beginning in tapping merits from alternative packaging material, several other States can explore defined efforts in this direction , as aluminum packaging will not only reduce greenhouse emissions but also add revenues to the States’ exchequer.
Ball, a provider of sustainable aluminum packaging for beverage, personal care, and household products, offers its customers solutions that promote a circular economy while also ensuring India can gear up to implement an Extended Producers Responsibility (EPR) framework. The company believes aluminum cans are suitable to replace bottles as alternative packaging material.
Amit Lahoti, VP and GM, Ball Beverage Packaging, India and South-East Asia Region, told Telangana Today, “India should look at aluminum as a packaging solution in pace with the adoption seen in several global markets and the benefits of aluminum that make it a better packaging material than other available materials. Aluminum helps in reducing water & electricity usage, and ultimately GHG emissions.”
“With India actively pursuing sustainable development goals, it is imperative to look at innovative and sustainable packaging solutions,” he noted.
Sharing adoption trends in the beer segment, Lahoti said, aluminum cans have 17-18 per cent share as a packaging material for beer, nationally, while several progressive States still have single digit adoption. The per ml taxation on cans is higher than the bottles, which is putting the beverage companies at disadvantage to shift to aluminum packaging.
Ball Beverage Packaging says there should be a level playing field in terms of taxation. In States such as Uttar Pradesh, per ml taxation is same for cans and bottles, and this has led to the penetration of cans to up to 80 per cent as the packaging material. Canned beer is taxed differently in some States such as Odisha and Haryana.
In other parts of the world, what has happened is that the charges for recycling plastic, glass bottles, and multi-layer plastic, among other things, have risen significantly. Particularly in European countries, the green dot fees for packaging or the EPR fees is higher for plastics, cartons and glass bottles when compared to aluminum. Through such differential fees, the governments are trying to promote sustainable packaging solutions.
Certain tax relaxation that the brewers can get from the States can lead to deeper penetration of cans as packaging material. “If we look at Telangana, the consumer profile is great, and the State is one of the highest markets for the beer segment. The State government has taken several green and sustainability measures and has been a frontrunner in adopting and encouraging new/green technologies and means to set high standards in production and packaging. Higher adoption of aluminum cans in the State can translate into an increase in its exchequer through higher excise revenues,” he noted.
An EY study done in 2019-20 shows that States could potentially garner an additional Rs 282 crore of excise revenues if the rules are modified to encourage sustainable aluminum packaging.
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