ITC Paperboards and Specialty Papers Division - ITC and Northern Technologies International to jointly develop and commercialize biopolymer paper products in India

ITC and Northern Technologies International to jointly develop and commercialize biopolymer paper products in India

May 31 2011

MINNEAPOLIS, MN, May 31, 2011 (Globe Newswire) - Northern Technologies International Corporation, a manufacturer of sustainable biobased and certified compostable bioplastic materials, announced that it has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Indian conglomerate ITC Limited to jointly develop and commercialize biopolymer-paper products targeted at the burgeoning consumer goods packaging market in India.

The two companies will jointly developing solutions in the Indian market towards providing biodegradable/compostable products such as food service ware, food packaging, personal care product packaging and other fast-moving consumer goods packaging. The biopolymer materials will be manufactured by Harita-NTI, NTIC's Indian joint venture, for integration with paper manufactured by ITC's Paperboards and Specialty Papers Division (PSPD). Both companies will also collaboratively develop and promote joint branding and messaging for these products.

The existing market for flexible packaging in India is estimated at about $2.8 billion and is expected to grow by at least 14-15% annually for the foreseeable future with the rapidly increasing demand for consumer packaged goods from India's growing middle class. At the same time, the use of conventional plastics such as polyethylene and polypropylene in flexible packaging is facing harsh political criticism due to environmental and waste-disposal concerns. Earlier this year, Indian authorities banned the use of non-biodegradable plastics in flexible packaging for certain high-volume applications. As a result, demand for paper and paperboard based flexible packaging is
expected to grow rapidly.

"This alliance promises to bring significant benefits to both parties," said Mr. Vineet Dalal, Vice President and Director of Global Market Development for NTIC. "NTIC has internationally recognized expertise and patented technologies in the bioplastics space, while ITC is a technology leader in the paper and paperboards business with a dominant position in the Indian packaging market. The combination of these unique and complementary capabilities, has allowed us to develop an innovative biopolymer-paper hybrid technology platform."

"ITC, one of the few companies in the world to be Carbon Positive, Water Positive and Waste Recycling Positive, has always been proactive with key green initiatives such as the introduction of environment-friendly Elemental Chlorine Free (ECF) technology, and commitment to bring larger volumes of its products and more of its operations under credibly certified schemes such as FSC®," said Mr. S. N. Venkataraman, Vice President-Marketing for ITC's Paperboards and Specialty Papers Division (PSPD). "Given the recent regulatory mandates banning the use of non-biodegradable plastics in packaging of certain high-volume consumer packaged goods, the innovative biopolymer-paper hybrid technology jointly developed with NTIC, provides ITC the ability to offer its customers an alternative portfolio of cost-effective, fully biobased and certified biodegradable packaging solutions."
Registered Office: ITC LIMITED, 37 J. L. Nehru Road, Kolkata - 700071, India Ph: +91-33-22889371 | Corporate Identity Number: L16005WB1910PLC001985