The central government, last month, banned the single-use plastic beginning July next year. The Environment Ministry spelt out for the first time the items that would fall under its purview including earbuds cutlery, packaging etc. The decision was taken mainly as many plastic commodities were not collected and recycled.
Keeping this in view, 'Yash Pakka Ltd. (formerly known as Yash Papers)- aims to replace single-use plastics by providing sustainable packaging solutions for a cleaner planet. Founded in 1981 by KK Jhunjhunwala, Yash Pakka works towards building a plastic-free future through its holistic approach. Yash Pakka has a strong business presence across 43 countries and aims to double its production capacity by 2023. It has been recognised as 'Top 10 Environmentally Sustainable Companies' by B-Corp, a reputed international organisation.
The over 450-member company manufactures packaging paper, moulds foodservice products and value-added products from sugarcane waste (agri-residue bagasse) which is locally sourced and pulped. The company's aim is to eradicate single-use plastics as much as possible by replacing it with sustainable alternative solutions and offers innovative compostable packaging solutions to leading players in the food and pharmaceutical industries.
"Some of our key customers include McDonald's, KFC, CCD, among others. Under the brand name CHUK, we offer lightweight, flexible and compostable tableware products to 100+ QSRs across the country. Some of these include Chai Point, HMS Host, Haldiram's etc," Ved Krishna, Vice Chairman at Yash Pakka Ltd. told The Logical Indian.
From Manufacturing To Processing Final Product
The company produces eco-friendly tableware using sugarcane pulp called bagasse. In comparison to plastic, which takes more than 500 years to decompose, the products are 100 per cent compostable that decomposes within months in backyard compostable systems.
The process begins with a Bagasse tank where they add the pH controlling chemical, from where it goes into the TDR (Triple Disc Refiner) and then the Blending Tank. Then the charge balancing chemical is added and the substances are passed to the SR Box followed by the Centri-Cleaner. Now, in the Machine Tank, a water-resistant chemical is poured and then in the recycle pulp chest, it is treated with oil-resistant chemical. When the product is developed in the machine, the team checks its output efficiency and take action for any gaps. Post this, the product goes for a quality check, is packed and sent to the warehouse for dispatch.
'We are currently developing high strength paper bags and exploring potential use cases for delivery platforms and other e-commerce stores. These will see massive uptake post the ban on single-use plastic. As online shopping continues to rise and platforms are looking for sustainable solutions to reduce their carbon footprint. We are also innovating bowls and trays using sustainable materials to expand our tableware range in line with the burgeoning market and home demand," Krishna said in a conversation with The Logical Indian.
'Exploring New Markets, Creating New Products'
The company is ramping up their presence across delivery platforms like Swiggy, Instamart and Zomato while also investing in B2C (business to customer) channels to reach a larger section of the target audience. On the innovation front, it is working on high strength paper bags, which will become a popular part of the overall marketing efforts in the near future.
"In the paper segment, as well, we witnessed the highest quarter results last year, indicating sustained growth even during the challenging period," Krishna said
The company is at about ₹300 crore right now and is targeting ₹1500 crore by the year 2025, and working on the roadmap for that.
"The disposable products market in India is valued around ₹ 8000 crore currently. This is our potential growth opportunity. To this end, we are exploring new markets, creating new products, and increasing our exports. After initiating exports to France in the last month, we are now looking to expanding to other key regions as well," Krishna added.
In addition, it has also started building a platform to help other compostable packaging producers, in terms of innovation, funding, technology, etc. The idea is to build better products at an even better price point.