Towards the end of last year, Cargill India seems to have adopted packaging made of recyclable material across most of its products. In association with Dow Chemical, the company claims to have converted 90 per cent of its plastic packaging for its edible oil brands to recyclable material, thereby reducing its carbon footprint in India through sustainable packaging. By cutting down on the amount of raw plastic used across all products, the company is attempting to show its commitment towards a sustainable environment.

The reduction in raw plastic usage has been implemented across its edible oil brands Gemini™, Sweekar®, and NatureFresh. To raise further awareness among consumers, the brands carry the slogan ‘recycle the present, save the future’ on the packaging.

Cargill in India claims to be working to address plastic waste management in three ways: reduce, recycle and recover. It has also reduced plastic use by removing the paper label and converting it to in-mold labelling. These efforts have apparently resulted in a reduction of 225 metric tons (MT) of plastic annually and a decrease of CO2 emission to 445MT.

To improve the recovery of recyclable plastics, Cargill is working with the Indian Pollution Control Association (IPCA) on the collection and processing of used packages from consumers. IPCA helps in gathering post-consumer multi-layered plastic (MLP) and non-MLP waste as part of the Extended Producer Responsibility initiative. IPCA has installed various dry waste-collection centres to segregate and compact plastic waste before distributing it to co-processing industries and plants. Cargill’s oils business has increased its collection target to 70 per cent while adding more locations across India.

In a press release, Piyush Patnaik, managing director, Cargill’s oils business in India, said, ‘Our efforts in the future will be strengthened as we are working to further our efforts to reduce, recycle and recover plastic packaging. We are constantly harmonizing our objectives with government initiatives to impact change in a sustainable manner.’

CB’s questions on whether there has been an overall decrease in the usage of plastic across the company in the past few years and specific targets for collecting plastic that the company generates and reducing plastic use across the company went unanswered.