EPS is made from polystyrene–a petroleum-based plastic compound which is non-biodegradable and takes decades to completely break down in the environment. While paper as a material is seen as very fragile, but when treated right, it offers the best alternative to EPS based packaging in terms of load bearing strength and cushioning.
Also, HC is recyclable and eco-friendly as it generates less than 1 kg CO2 per product, as compared to EPS that has the tendency to generate 4.2 kg CO2 per product. By switching to paper-based packaging, the concerns about the impact of EPS recycling and reuse on the environment, gets addressed without impacting quality of packaging.
To showcase the difference in environmental impact of the two packaging materials, the company conducted an experiment with paper packaging of 100 refrigerators. The study revealed HC paper packaging as opposed to EPS has the potential to reduce Global Warming by 81 percent.
Commenting on this, Kamal Nandi, business head and executive vice president – Godrej Appliances, part of Godrej & Boyce, said, “We took a lead in implementing paper-based packaging in 2019, much before Government regulation to curtail Thermocole usage. We have also recently applied for a patent for the use of ingenious environment friendly packaging solution. With its usage, we have been able to achieve upto 50% reduction in packaging led carbon footprint in 2021-22 in refrigerators from 1000+ to 500+ tons and by 2023-24, we are targeting close to 100% green packaging implementation across the refrigerators, washing machines and air conditioners being manufactured in our factories.”
Burzin Wadia, executive vice president and head engineering and technology, Godrej Appliances, said, “Ours was the first brand in the white goods industry to start the use of honeycomb structured paper packaging since 2019. We started the journey with refrigerators given the larger size of the appliance which led to the highest EPS consumption per unit. The new solution has been found to be both sturdy and eco-friendly. On an average, 20 trees are required to offset the CO2 generated by EPS (thermocole) packaging, whereas only four trees can offset CO2 generation by paper packaging which establishes its environment friendliness.”