When Covid-19 swept over the world since the early days of 2020, its influence in India was visible on January 30th, just as the first instance was detected in India. The Indian Prime Minister ordered a 14-hour optional public ban on March 22. However, on March 24, the prime minister ordered a statewide shut down for more than 21 days, impacting almost 1.3 billion Indians.
The sudden declaration of a nation lockdown causes numerous problems in the community and the current population, such as bachelors, daily wage labourers, professional women in metros, students, and applicants for different examinations. It was crucial for individuals who relied on outsourcing food, housemaids, and local food vendors. The massive interstate exodus of unemployed or idle individuals from India’s metropolises to their rural astounded local officials. The main motivation for this action was the unpredictability of work due to Covid-19 and the endurance of a dire circumstance that was not anticipated. Thousands of workers, daily wage workers, MSME wage earners, and those working in the unorganized sector began to journey to their separate hometowns over distances of at least 100-2000 km. When the masses began to move with their families at the time, most of them were with nothing and began travelling without food or drink.
Due to the shutdown in India, all hotels, restaurants, local vendors, and roadside hotels were shuttered. There was only one way to feed the hungry and thirsty people: give them packed food and drink pouches. With its flexibility of uses, state-of-the-art flexible packaging, which was formerly seen as a menace to the community and environment, has come forward to assist civilization, new immigrants, expectant mothers, senior citizens, and children. At that vital period, a massive range of fast-moving consumer products, cookies, prepared food, and water or juice containers were accessible to save all the lives of migrants. In this pandemic emergency, all PP Woven Bags packaging businesses have pledged to work to ensure an unbroken supply of food and water to tired and hungry people. Nothing else was accessible to serve the crowd of thousands when trains began operating to repatriate refugees to their respective destinations. However, during that important period of human existence, plastic containers performed a vital role in providing them with safe food and water until they arrived safely at their locations in a sunny and warm climate.
Throughout Covid-19, India too experienced some harsh realities. Bike, bullock carriages transported individuals and even foot to their homes in severely arid conditions with temperatures ranging from 40 to 450 degrees Celsius. Heatstroke was a real risk for tired and hungry travellers back then. In that circumstance, several non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and self-help groups stepped forward to feed these immigrants by donating food and water wrapped in polymer flexible packaging for their life. India will never forget the efforts made by all of those warriors to save many lives.
Throughout the lockdown, major cities had an abundance of ready-to-cook and packaged food supplies to meet the demands of working adults, students, and dependents. To protect the population, multilayer packaging conversions and FMCG firms launched a slew of new goods shortly after the virus spread in a pandemic condition. To assist the general public, a variety of personal hygiene goods like sanitizer, cleaning products, one-time use disinfectant pouches, and PPEs, among others, were launched into the market. As a result, multilevel flexibility wrapping figured prominently in ensuring safety while improving the stability of food and sanitary items through
out the shutdown.
The Impact of COVID-19 on the Flexible Packaging Sector
COVID-19 influenced almost all parts of our life, pushing us to alter our daily routines and establish new conventions. Wrapping, particularly the various packaging business, figured prominently in this transition, from production across numerous industries, especially food and medical supplies, to users at home.
The pervasive despair of anything from ready meals to the hand cleaning solution to bathroom paper created urgent issues for the versatile packaging sector, forcing makers to become more effective and innovative with their proper packaging methods to conquer those obstacles.
COVID-19 was distinguished from previous supply chain risks by its global breadth and sustained persistence. A disruption in the supply chain resulted in lead timing differences, general shortages, and price increases. A substantial increase in e-commerce, which comprised 21% of total sales, up from 15.8 percent in 20191. Families who prefer to shop online and deliver food, retail necessities, and various goods directly impact the industry.
During the epidemic’s peak, numerous buyers were torn between emphasizing cleanliness, protection, and durability and were frequently compelled to choose one over the other. Big stores briefly restricted the usage of recyclable goods such as shopping bags and coffee cups. Furthermore, the fear of the virus living on packaging for up to 72 hours led to a larger use of solitary packing while reusable packaging fell to alleviate sanitary issues.
During a period of shortage, it is important emphasizing the role packaging solutions such as PP Woven Bags played in decreasing food waste. Management is a systematic freshness, and decreasing the amount of ruined food allows buyers to maintain their refrigerators and cabinets stocked for longer, helping consumers. As per Euromonitor International, store sales for packaged foods rose by 10.5 percent. Moreover, because flexible packaging uses fewer resources and energy to manufacture and carry, the boom in e-commerce created a greater demand for spatially lighter-weight packing to leverage transportation ability.
The long-term effects of COVID-19 will influence all who lived through it, and while we may want to forget, we must use the difficulties and insights we experienced to start educating people. According to the CEO of Singhal Industries, COVID-19 will create a radical shift in how people purchase, our buying habits, and the whole purchasing process.” Customers can choose food products, packaging types, and trademarks that, above all, feel more comfortable amid a pandemic. Flexible packaging’s advantages, such as unproductiveness and technology incorporation, will unquestionably come to the front.